Votto returns to lineup after missing two games

Votto returns to lineup after missing two games

LOS ANGELES -- By design, Reds first baseman Joey Votto says very little about injuries or how bothered he is by them. All anyone needed to know on Tuesday was that Votto was back in the lineup vs. the Dodgers.

"I'm not 100 percent, but I can play," Votto said. "I'm well enough to go without causing any more trouble."

Votto missed games on Sunday and Monday with inflammation in his left knee. The injury happened while he was sliding into third base on Friday at San Francisco.

There was no MRI performed, Votto said. He told head trainer Paul Lessard he could play, and Lessard relayed that to manager Dusty Baker, who put Votto in the third spot of the lineup. Votto still planned to meet with Baker.

"I want to speak to Dusty face to face. He's the manager," Votto said. "It's a courtesy all players owe to the manager."

Votto entered Tuesday batting .350 with 14 home runs and 47 RBIs this season. His 33 doubles and .471 on-base percentage lead the Majors.

"It was determined between him and our medical staff, whatever 100 percent is," Baker said. "The later you get in the season, the less chance you have of anybody being 100 percent. Anybody that's played every day has played a lot. You're not going to be 100 percent until probably Nov. 28, if even then."