Former National League slugger Kevin Mitchell, in a dispute with his Japanese team over a sore knee, reportedly left for Los Angeles today without notifying the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks.

      Hawks president Ryuzo Setoyama said the matter will be dealt with.Team officials were not immediately available for comment.

      Mitchell, 33, left the Cincinnati Reds as a free agent to play for the Hawks for an estimated $4.5 million, the highest salary ever paid in Japanese baseball.

      On Wednesday, the team told Mitchell, who has been sitting out games complaining of a sore knee, that the team will not pay his salary for May because he had violated his contract.