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Reds Trying to Get Machado Back for Tests

January 6, 2005

CINCINNATI (AP) _ Reds shortstop Anderson Machado hurt his knee while playing winter baseball in Venezuela and is trying to return to the United States for tests to determine the extent of the injury.

General manager Dan O’Brien said Wednesday that visa problems were blocking his return. The Reds have no indication whether the knee is merely sprained or has sustained more serious damage, O’Brien said.

``We are pulling out all stops trying to expedite the visa approval,″ O’Brien said. ``So far, I have no target date. It’s a helpless feeling.″

O’Brien is hoping that Machado gets clearance by early next week.

Machado hurt his knee on a pivot at second base while turning a double play late last month. The Reds told him to quit playing as a precaution, and want him back for medical tests to make sure he didn’t tear something in the knee.

The Reds got Machado from Philadelphia last July as part of the trade for reliever Todd Jones. He hit .268 in 17 games for the Reds, committing four errors, and is expected to compete with Felipe Lopez for the starting shortstop job in spring training.

The job opened up when the Reds decided not to offer Barry Larkin another contract, ending his 19-year career with his hometown team. Machado came out of the dugout and replaced Larkin at shortstop after the third inning of the Reds’ final home game.

Lopez hit .242 in 79 games last season with 15 errors, making him the leading candidate to take over for Larkin.

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