From the Chicago Sun-Times’ Toni Ginnetti.

Nomar Garciaparra burst out laughing when he was asked Friday about a Boston columnist’s insinuation that he used steroids.

”Are you kidding me?” the injured Cubs shortstop said. ”If I was taking steroids, could I send them back and get the good ones, because obviously, these didn’t work. I didn’t get my money’s worth. That’s ridiculous.

”These are the same people who said I didn’t want my [World Series] ring. We all know that wasn’t true. That came out to be a hoax. It’s probably the same people who said I faked my injury last year, so what does that tell you? Fake an injury in a contract year? That’s pretty smart. It makes me chuckle.”

Garciaparra is out with a ruptured adductor tendon in his left groin, an injury that occurred when he slipped coming out of the batter’s box in St. Louis on Wednesday. He is likely to miss two to three months.

But Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan wrote on Friday that the former Red Sox star’s injury, coming after an injury-shortened season last year and in 2001, raised the specter of steroid use.

”Absolutely not, without question,” Garciaparra said to a direct question about using the banned substances. ”They’re going to say all sorts of stuff because they can’t do what we do. Anyone can say whatever they want, I guess. I’m a Cub, and that’s all I have to worry about.”