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Westbrook dealing with left knee contusion


JUPITER, Fla. -- Jake Westbrook's first Grapefruit League start was an abbreviated one, as he followed Carlos Beltran with an early exit due to injury.

Westbrook was struck on the inside part of his left leg -- just below his knee -- on a comebacker off the bat of Casey Kotchman, who was the first Marlins hitter to bat in the second. That brought a trainer and manager Mike Matheny out of the dugout, and after a lengthy conference, Matheny made the decision to end Westbrook's day.

"He wanted to stay out there, but the first time out, why?" Matheny said. "He was getting close to 20 pitches. It was still a little cool at that point. None of it made sense to me."

Westbrook, who was diagnosed with a left knee contusion, later said that he was eventually able to walk off the pain. He doesn't expect to be slowed in the coming days by the issue.

"They said there was no reason to push it, and I had no intention of arguing in the first game of Spring Training," Westbrook said. "It's precautionary. I have a lot of time to get my work in."

Because Westbrook's workload was lighter than anticipated on Thursday, Matheny said that the right-hander could throw more pitches in his next side session to help increase his endurance in advance of his next scheduled start.

In his one inning on Thursday, Westbrook allowed one run on four hits, the last of which was the ball that struck him.

"I felt like I was on the right track," Westbrook said. "The biggest part is not getting my first workload in as far as the number of pitches that I needed to throw to progress. But we'll figure something out and make adjustments."

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