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07/31/09 11:13 PM ET

Reliford tears calf, to be sidelined

Umpire leaves game four innings after injury

ST. PETERSBURG -- Veteran umpire Charlie Reliford had to leave Friday night's game after tearing his right calf muscle and is expected to miss four to six weeks while recovering.

Reliford, who was the crew chief, started the game behind home plate for the Royals-Rays game at Tropicana Field when he incurred the injury at some point during the second inning.

Despite the injury, the 19-year veteran remained in the game. But during the break between innings prior to the bottom of the sixth, he could be seen consulting with a Rays trainer. After the conference, second-base umpire Sam Holbrook left the field to go to the umpire's dressing room to put on the necessary equipment to take over as the home-plate umpire.

Holbrook began the seventh inning behind home plate and Reliford left the game. Dr. Koco Eaton, Rays orthopedic team physician, examined Reliford and determined the extent of the injury.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.