Giants’ Posey says his season is likely over

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Giants catcher Buster Posey says it’s “highly likely” he will miss the rest of the season after injuring his left leg and ankle in a collision at home plate.

Posey said in a conference call with San Francisco reporters Friday that he is still committed to playing catcher when he returns. He also asked that Major League Baseball and the players’ union look at ways to protect catchers at home plate.

Giants general manager Brian Sabean called on baseball officials to review rules regarding home-plate collisions, and suggested a simple _ but significant _ change.

“You have to slide into other bases,” Sabean said. “Why shouldn’t you have to slide into home plate?”

Speaking to reporters in Milwaukee, where the Giants opened a series against the Brewers on Friday night, Sabean said he wasn’t sure if Posey’s injury would be enough to get baseball to look at the rules. But with players getting stronger and faster, Sabean is concerned that future home plate collisions could lead to head and neck injuries.

“It’s a compelling question,” Sabean said.

Shortly after Sabean made his request, Houston Astros catcher Humberto Quintero injured his ankle in a collision while blocking the plate against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Quintero was placed on the 15-day disabled list immediately after the game with a sprained right ankle.

Posey was not so fortunate. The 2010 NL Rookie of the Year broke a bone in his lower left leg and tore three ligaments in his ankle when Florida’s Scott Cousins scored the winning run Wednesday night.

Posey felt Cousins could have slid around him but said the collision was a legal play. He holds no ill will against Cousins and said he doesn’t want to “vilify” him.

Sabean also says Cousins could have slid around Posey but wasn’t willing to call the play dirty.

“I have a hard time thinking he was trying to do anything to injure anybody,” Sabean said.

And Sabean wasn’t sure if he would ask baseball officials to consider discipline against Cousins.

“We’re going to wait a couple days, so we can take the emotion out of it,” Sabean said.

Posey is in the process of seeking a specialist to perform surgery on his ankle. He said he’s in almost constant pain but confident he will make a full recovery, even if it’s unclear exactly how long that will take.

“I think we’ll know more once we do some surgery,” Posey said. “I think it’s highly likely I probably won’t be back (this season), from what I’m hearing.”

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