DENVER -- As if Rockies center fielder Willy Taveras didn't learn his lesson last year, when he tried to play through leg injuries but wound up missing much of the final month and the beginning of the playoffs, it was reinforced this year by teammate Troy Tulowitzki.
"Tulo got hurt and stayed in the game," Taveras said, referring to Tulowitzki's right quadriceps tendon tear, which cost him 46 games.
So when Taveras felt tightness in his left quadriceps during Tuesday night's 4-0 victory over the Padres, he reported it to trainers and left the game. Taveras wasn't in the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Padres and didn't guarantee he'd be back Thursday against the Marlins.
"We'll see," said Taveras, replaced by Ryan Spilborghs as the Rockies' leadoff man and center fielder Wednesday. "I'm going to ride the exercise bike today, get some treatment, but I'm not going to push it. I want to take care of this, so it doesn't get worse."
Taveras' legs are his main weapon. His 38 steals, including two Tuesday before the injury, lead the Majors. Taveras, who slumped early but has been better for the past few weeks, is hitting .252, and leads the National League in bunt hits with 14 and infield hits with 25.
Last year, soreness in the right quadriceps marred Taveras' second half and forced him to the disabled list in September. He didn't return until the NL Championship Series.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.