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09/22/08 8:13 PM ET

Mora may shut down sore hamstring

Infielder uncertain whether he'll risk playing again in '08

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles have less than a week to play, and they're still not sure whether they'll see their third baseman again this season.

Veteran Melvin Mora has been limited by a strained left hamstring in recent days and said on Monday that he's not sure whether he's helping his team or himself by repeatedly attempting to play hurt.

"It's stiff. It feels like it's going to explode," he said. "It's a bad feeling. I make it worse every day I play."

Mora, who's batting .282 with 23 home runs and 102 RBIs, said he's increasingly worried about his lateral movement. The veteran said he hasn't been able to run at full tilt and has seen his defensive mobility whittled away. Mora said he wants to play again before the season ends, but he doesn't want to risk making his ailment even worse.

"I've never had this type of injury before," he said. "I don't like to play hero. I'm not that kind of player."

Meanwhile, Baltimore manager Dave Trembley has been forced to scramble to field his best lineup. Designated hitter Aubrey Huff has played third base in recent days, as has infield reserve Oscar Salazar. Trembley said he's not sure when he'll be able to get Mora back on the field, but he also said it's a situation that he continues to monitor daily.

"I need to talk to him about that," he said of Mora. "I got the update from [head athletic trainer] Richie Bancells before I came in here to speak with you all and Melvin's not in the lineup today. He said his leg is not good enough for him to play."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.