SAN FRANCISCO -- Ken Griffey Jr.'s pursuit of 600 home runs will have to resume in April 2008. After he was injured during Wednesday's game in Chicago, Griffey was diagnosed Thursday with a high left groin strain during an examination in Cincinnati. The Reds right fielder will miss the rest of the season and be evaluated again in four weeks. Team medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek made the diagnosis.
"He's done," Reds interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "It's a season-ending injury but it could have been worse. It's not the worst-case scenario, so we're happy about that." In the eighth inning of the Reds' 3-2 loss to the Cubs, Griffey was injured as he attempted to field Derrek Lee's single and make a throw. In sudden pain, he was forced to make an underhand throw to the infield and left the game after he spent several minutes laying on the field being evaluated by trainers. The original diagnosis was a strained lower abdomen. Griffey, 37, batted .277 with 30 home runs and 93 RBIs. His season ended with 593 career home runs, sixth all time. Showing some fatigue down the stretch, Griffey's second-half numbers had waned after a torrid stretch before the All-Star break. He had 23 homers and 59 RBIs in the first half and just seven homers and 34 RBIs in 62 second-half games. In the last six games of the Reds' road trip vs. the contending Brewers and Cubs, Griffey was 5-for-29 (.172) and he hadn't homered since Sept. 7. Mackanin wanted to give him a day off and planned to do so in Thursday's series opener at last-place San Francisco. "I told him before the game last night," Mackanin said. "I should never have told him. I didn't want to stir anything up like they had some comments about Houston." The Astros were criticized this week for fielding several rookies against Milwaukee. The Reds have been trying to use their regular lineup vs. contenders. Griffey played in 144 games this season -- his most since playing 145 games for Cincinnati in 2000. Between 2001-06, he endured eight trips to the disabled list and had a couple of career-threatening injuries. "It's too bad, he had a nice year," general manager Wayne Krivsky said. "He was very durable and stayed healthy. He put up some nice numbers. We appreciated everything he does on and off the field."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.