SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon believes he has an answer to the freakishly bad luck he's endured this time of year.
"I'm beginning to think I'm allergic to Spring Training," Blackmon said.
Blackmon, 26, returned to the clubhouse on Sunday after an absence mandated because of an infection in his right knee. He hasn't appeared in a Cactus League game since March 1, and an incision he received to alleviate the infection has prevented him from even working out. It is uncertain when he will resume activity.
Last year, Blackmon started the spring hot, but suffered a turf toe injury in early March and missed the rest of the Cactus League schedule. He battled the injury for much of the regular season before finally appearing for the Rockies in August. He hit .283 with two home runs and nine RBIs in 42 Major League games.
Blackmon said he suffered his current infection when he cut himself sliding. After receiving the wound, he wore a protective sleeve, but the knee became infected. It's a bitter disappointment for Blackmon, who has had impressive moments in the Majors the last two seasons before injuries limited his opportunity. Blackmon debuted in 2011 and hit .255 in 27 games before breaking his right foot.
"I've always come up with some crazy, weird injury," Blackmon said. "That's not who I am. That's not something that's been an issue in the past. As of late, it's plagued me a little bit.
"I was really looking forward to a hiccup-free Spring Training. I wanted to show what I could do the whole two months here, but it looks like I'm going to have this little bump in the road."
The Rockies' outfield is crowded as it is, with Tyler Colvin's ability to play first base and Eric Young Jr.'s speed and ability to also play the infield putting them in line for reserve roles. Blackmon, however, can play all three outfield positions and has enough speed to be a threat on the bases.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less