CINCINNATI, May 23 (UPI) -- Ken Griffey Jr., who has been sidelined since the opening week of the season with a partially torn patellar tendon, will be activated by the Cincinnati Reds prior to Friday's game with the Atlanta Braves.
The 32-year-old superstar center fielder has worked out with the team this week and likely will be in the starting lineup Friday against Kevin Millwood.
The addition of Griffey strengthens the first-place Reds but presents Manager Boone with an interesting dilemma.
Outfielders Juan Encarnacion, Adam Dunn and rookie Austin Kearns have hit well and Sean Casey is entrenched at first base. Boone has said he will work some sort of rotation to provide at-bats for all of the players.
To make roster room for Griffey, infielder Gookie Dawkins was sent to the minor leagues Thursday.
Griffey suffered the injury running the bases during the exhibition season and was limited physically during the opening week of the regular campaign. The 11-time All-Star has been able to rehabilitate the injury without surgery.
It is the latest setback for Griffey, who was hampered by a torn hamstring last season and had 22 homers and 65 RBI in 111 games. In his first season with the Reds in 2000, Griffey had 40 home runs and 118 RBI.
The Reds acquired Griffey from the Seattle Mariners in February 2000 and signed him to a contract through the 2008 season.
Griffey was named to Major League Baseball's All-Century team and voted player of the decade for the 1990s. He has 461 career homers and 1,338 RBI.
Griffey also won 10 straight Gold Gloves with Seattle from 1990-99.
Dawkins had just four hits in 28 at-bats without an RBI. He was optioned to Class AA Chattanooga of the Southern League.