Braves' Freeman injures knee

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Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is expected to miss at least a week after injuring his right knee.

Freeman’s kneecap popped out of place Tuesday attempting to field a low throw during an infield drill.

The team said the knee is stable and he had a similar injury in the minors two years ago. Freeman missed about a week the last time.

Freeman was runner-up for NL Rookie of the Year after hitting .282 with 21 homers and 76 RBI.

BREWERS: The person who collected Ryan Braun’s urine samples that tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone says he followed the collection program’s protocol.

Dino Laurenzi Jr. issued a statement Tuesday confirming he handled the sample submitted following a playoff game on Oct. 1.

He says he has been a collector for Comprehensive Drug Testing since 2005 and has taken more than 600 samples for Major League Baseball’s drug-testing program.

Braun’s 50-game suspension was overturned last week.

Laurenzi says he stored Braun’s sample in his basement in accordance with drug-collecting procedure because there was “no FedEx office located within 50 miles of Miller Park that would ship packages that day or Sunday.”

YANKEES: Now two spots in the New York rotation are secure.

Manager Joe Girardi indicated Tuesday that right-hander Hiroki Kuroda will join Opening Day starter CC Sabathia in the five-man unit.

Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia are also in the mix although Garcia and Hughes appear to be competing for the final job.

ASTROS: Brett Myers, who started 66 of the 67 games in which he played during his first two seasons with Houston, will be the team’s closer this year.

The 31-year-old right-hander has 94 wins in 249 career starts, including a 7-14 record with a 4.46 ERA for the Astros last season. He saved 21 games for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2007 after starting that season in the rotation.

NATIONALS: Washington lost top pitching prospect Sammy Solis for the season because an elbow injury.

The team said that Solis will need major surgery on his left elbow.

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