Damon says he's unable to 'squeeze anything,' with finger bruise
Rays outfielder Johnny Damon had a splint and bandage covering his bruised left ring finger which forced him to leave Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins after the fourth inning.
The Rays' took x-rays of Damon's finger but called the injury a bruise and said he is day-to-day. But Damon didn't sound overly optimistic he could play in Monday's series opener against the Chicago White Sox at Tropicana Field.
Damon was injured in the third inning when his bunt attempt went foul. He stayed in the game and lined the next pitch off Twins starter Brian Duensing for an RBI single to give the Rays a 1-0 lead and played leftfield in the fourth. But the soreness and swelling increased and Damon was replaced in leftfield by Matt Joyce, who went 0-for-2.
“It’s very sore. It’s really tough to squeeze anything right now,'' Damon said. "Hopefully, I’ll be ready to go as soon as possible. That’s about all we know right now until probably tomorrow...It’s pretty bruised. I’ve got it up in a splint right now just so I can’t bang it on anything. It’s just a very unfortunate thing.
“I wanted to try to tough out the game but they thought it was best if I came in and started icing and try to get ready for tomorrow. At this point, I can’t guarantee anything. Whether or not I’ll be in there tomorrow or not. Time will tell. It’s unfortunate our streak came to an end but hopefully we can start another one tomorrow.''
Damon said his bunt attempt became defensive because Duensing's pitch was headed for his right knee.
“If it didn’t hit my fingers, it would’ve hit my knee cap,'' Damon said. "I’m not sure what’s better, the fingers or the knee cap. The pitch was coming right at me and I could not get out of the way at all. Maybe it’s a blessing it did hit by finger instead of my kneecap because the ball was coming in pretty fast.''
Damon extended his hitting streak to nine games, the longest for the Rays this season. He has batted .315 (12-for-38) during that streak after going 1-for-15 on the opening homestand.
"I’m glad I had this week, especially how our team started,'' Damon said. "We needed a pick-me-up. But I just want to get back out there so I can continue helping this team win ballgames.
“Ice, pain meds and hopefully it can feel better tomorrow. But like I said, I can’t promise anything tomorrow.''