OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — It’s been nearly two months since Torii Hunter slammed into the outfield wall at Dodger Stadium to rob Matt Kemp — and he hasn’t been close to the same since.

Then, the Los Angeles Angels’ dynamic center fielder did it again in mid-June at San Francisco’s AT&T Park.

“Since I hit the wall, my body went down hill,” the eight-time Gold Glover said Thursday, trying to get through the boredom of being on the disabled list with a right groin strain he says stems from the first collision.

This is his first stint on the DL in three years and first since joining the Angels after the 2007 season. Hunter, chosen to his third AL All-Star team but unable to participate, leads Los Angeles with 17 home runs and 65 RBIs.

“I hate this,” said Hunter, who turns 34 on Saturday. “I don’t know what to do. I’m bored.”

Hunter hurts on the inside, his body still spasms at times. He can’t run and is far from pain-free these days.

The crash in San Francisco on June 15 was the second-worst of his career, Hunter said in an interview with The Associated Press.

He was foggy right afterward and bruised his ribs on the play, trying to catch a double by Bengie Molina with the Angels ahead 8-0.

Hunter was swarmed by trainers, teammates and manager Mike Scioscia when he was injured and was down for several minutes before getting up on his own. He grabbed his ribcage area while walking in with the help of the training staff.

“That was bad,” Scioscia recalled.

They wanted to cart Hunter off, but he insisted on leaving the field on his own. As soon as he was back inside the clubhouse, he received an injection for pain.

“I’ve got too much pride,” he said with a smile, passing time in the visitor’s clubhouse before the Angels opened the second half against the AL West rival Oakland Athletics.

The crash at Dodger Stadium on May 24 was bad, too. He only missed one game after each collision, wanting to get back out there right away. Two days after the San Francisco crash, his pinch-hit single helped key a late rally off reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum in a 4-3 win by the Angels.

Hunter knows he will most certainly have more scares the way he goes full speed at all times.

“I’m still aggressive. I’m always aggressive,” he said. “Maybe when you’re ahead 8-0 you don’t want to hit the wall and will let the ball drop. But then you’re not giving 100 percent. I always give 100 percent. I’m not like that. It’s not in my DNA.”

The first-place Angels are counting on having a healthy Hunter and outfield for the stretch run. Vladimir Guerrero is back on the DL for a second stint this year with strains behind his left knee and in his lower hamstring. Scioscia hopes to have Juan Rivera – limited to designated hitter duties because of tightness in his left quadriceps and right hamstring – back playing in the outfield this weekend.

Gary Matthews Jr. has been the regular center fielder in Hunter’s place.

Scioscia doesn’t want Hunter to change once he’s back.

“I love the way he plays,” Scioscia said. “I love the way he dives for balls. That’s part of him and he’s going to keep doing it.”


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