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CLEVELAND -- New York Yankees outfielder Carlos Beltran suffered two small facial fractures in the batting cage Wednesday when a batted ball caromed off an L-screen and ricocheted back into his face.
"You don't expect that to happen when you're practicing,'' Beltran said. "The ball hit the screen and bounced back and hit me in the face.''
The injury occurred just before Wendesday night's Yankees-Indians game, causing Beltran, who had been in the starting lineup, to be scratched.
But the Yankees did not immediately place Beltran on the disabled list, and manager Joe Girardi indicated the 37-year-old Beltran could return to his injury-depleted lineup Thursday night.
"I don't know what it's going to be yet," Girardi said. "It's a freak, freak injury. You can only change the lineup so many times and then you run out of people. It's difficult. I have to figure out what we're going to do."
Beltran said it was possible he might be able to play Thursday.
"I had a headache for the whole day but now it's getting better,'' he said. "Hopefully tomorrow it will get better and I could be back soon, but I don't know what the team's going to do. With the concussion things, teams take that serious. Honestly, I don't feel like I have that. But at the end of the day, it's not my decision.''
Beltran missed the first two games of the series with soreness behind his right knee. He is batting .216 with nine homers and 28 RBIs.
Derek Jeter, who was scheduled to have the night off, was the designated hitter and went 2-for-6.
Left fielder Brett Gardner also missed the game with a lower abdominal strain.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.