Gonzalez said the pain he suffered trying to run out an infield bouncer in the sixth inning made him fear his problem was more serious than it turned out to be. He said he played through last year with the tendinitis.
The injury is to the patellar tendon, which runs vertically along the front of the kneecap. The injury affects him running the bases and during acts such as jamming into a base, but he said it's not as much of an issue defensively because he is running on grass as opposed to dirt.
"I'm trying to go out there with no limits," Gonzalez said. "I'm going to go out there and hit the ball as hard as I can, try to make every play I can make. If it hurts, I will let them know. It's something I have to manage."
Most importantly, he said it doesn't affect his hitting or his power. It is to his back leg while batting, but the location of the tendon doesn't affect his push-off. While it's true that in his last eight games, Gonzalez is 5-for-31 (.161) with no home runs and one RBI, he has been victim of an inordinate number of leaping, diving defensive plays and hard outs.
"Home runs just happen, and I know I have enough power to hit the ball out of the ballpark, even when I don't hit it good," said Gonzalez, who entered Monday batting .282, tied with Justin Morneau for the team lead in homers with four, and with 14 RBIs -- one behind Morneau's team-leading figure. "That's not something I'm worried about. It's not like 2010 when my wrist was killing me. You know you are limited and you're not going to hit a ball hard.
"My knee is something that's bothering me, but I can still go out there and compete and hit the ball hard. I've been hitting the ball hard. At least eight times, I hit the ball in the hole or something and somebody makes a diving play, or they're playing shift. But I'm sure I will have more than eight broken-bat hits. That will replace all those line drives."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.