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La Russa to be careful with Glaus

La Russa to be careful with Glaus

JUPITER, Fla. -- Manager Tony La Russa is aware that his third baseman, Troy Glaus, has played more than 115 games only twice in the last five seasons because of injuries. La Russa has a plan to get the most out of his newly acquired slugger.

"We're going to pay a lot of attention to it," La Russa said. "If it looks like he could use a rest, we're going to give it to him."

La Russa paused for a moment, then said, "If we had to rest him one game a series, I'd be all right with that. That'd give him 120 games."

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La Russa might want to err on the side of caution with Glaus, who has had injury issues in four of the past five seasons, but Glaus believes it is unnecessary.

"I want to play as often as I can," he said. "I want to play 155, 158, 160 games, something like that, if I'm healthy. Last year was a freak thing. It just happened. It had nothing to do with any kind of trend or tendency. It was just one of those things."

Glaus was referring to a left heel problem that troubled him much of the season. He had surgery on it for chronic plantar fascitis in mid-September. But he also had right shoulder woes that seriously impacted his 2003 and '04 seasons, and pain behind his left knee in 2005 that prompted him to need cortisone injections.

Glaus noted that the year he had the knee pain he still played in 153 games. The shoulder injury, he said, came simply from diving for a ball.

"It was not from overuse issues," he said. "None of the injuries have been."

Glaus appreciates La Russa's concern about his health, yet he said he knows his body well.

"I want to stay healthy," Glaus said, "but I also want to play. And play every day. I come to the ballpark every day wanting and ready to play."

Charlie Nobles is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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