Damon has cracked bone in finger tip
UPDATE, 6:11: Maddon said Damon is able to play the outfield and could be used there as part of an in-game move, but likely will be limited to DH duties when the lineup is made out.
DEVELOPING: DH/LF Johnny Damon confirmed that the bone is cracked in the tip of his left ring finger is cracked and won't be fully healed for about a month, but he plans to play - or at least DH - through the pain. The Rays and Damon had been saying he just had a bruise, but after returning to the lineup on Thursday he acknowledged it was worse.
"I know if you say it's broke more than likely they'll try to throw you on the DL, so we just kept it under wraps and they knew that I was ready to come back and play and here I am,'' Damon said. "It's not healed. I can actually grip the bat without feeling too much discomfort.''
As it is, Damon described the finger as feeling "super numb" but said he can squeeze the bat without putting too much pressure on it. Damon didn't wear any additional padding or protection when he hit, aside from his usual Franklin batting gloves, because he feels it changes his swing too much.
Damon said he hopes to tolerate the pain and be able to keep hitting, but acknowledged it would be difficult to grip the ball properly to throw. "I just can't squeeze it as much as I want,'' he said. Also, playing the field would increase the chances of his hitting and irritating the finger further.
As it is, "there will be some times when I swing the bat you'll see me probably grimace and you'll know I got stung,'' he said.
Plus, Damon said, in a nod to leftfield replacement Sam Fuld, "Sam is too good out there anyways.''