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D-backs CF Eaton possibly out 2 months

Friday - 3/22/2013, 10:32pm  ET

Arizona Diamondbacks' Adam Eaton triples off Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Peter Moylan to drive in a run in the third inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game Monday, March 18, 2013, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Adam Eaton will be out for up to two months because of a sprained left elbow.

Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers said Friday that Eaton had an MRI that revealed a small tear in the fibers around the ulnar collateral ligament. Eaton had been bothered by a sore elbow for a couple of weeks and the Diamondbacks had recently given him a couple days off.

"Of course you like to play through it as a competitor," Eaton said. "You don't like to be in the training room at all and get that type of attention. A couple of guys I talked to talked me in to going in and getting it checked out. I was still thinking it was nothing. I've never had any arm problems my whole life."

Towers said Eaton, expected to be Arizona's starting center fielder and leadoff hitter, will be shut down for four weeks and the best-case scenario for his return would be in six weeks, but could be as long as two months.

Eaton said he wants to come back sooner.

"I'm sitting here today saying it's not going to take me that long," he said. "I'm going to do at all costs to get back quicker. I put all my faith in the doctors but at the same time for me there's an aspect where I want to try to get back a little sooner and try to push things a little bit. We'll be smart with it, of course, we're not going to do anything stupid with it. But I'm definitely going to try to do a speedy recovery for sure."

Eaton played 22 games for the Diamondbacks late last season before he was hit by a pitch and broke his right hand.

The speedster was to play a major role in Arizona's plans to change its offensive style and his absence leaves the team thin in the outfield, with Cody Ross -- projected to start in right field -- unlikely to be ready for opening day because of a calf strain. That leaves the team with a probable outfield of Jason Kubel in left, A.J., Pollock in center and Gerardo Parra in right.

Eaton hit .390 this spring with 23 hits and 10 RBIs in 59 at bats.

The scrappy outfielder sent a message via Twitter thanking his supporters.

"You know that I will work my butt off to get back in there," he wrote. "It will be sooner than later."

Eaton said that he visited team doctor Michael Lee 1
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