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Saturday, September 25, 2010
Dodgers' John Lindsey breaks hand

By Tony Jackson
ESPNLosAngeles.com

PHOENIX -- John Lindsey, the 16-year veteran minor leaguer who finally got his first big league callup when the Los Angeles Dodgers purchased his contract on Sept. 6, will miss what is left of the season after suffering a broken bone on his left hand in Saturday night's 5-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Lindsey was hit by a pitch from Diamondbacks rookie Daniel Hudson with two outs in the seventh inning. Lindsey winced in obvious pain, but managed to jog to first base, where manager Joe Torre and a trainer immediately met him. Although Lindsey remained in the game initially, by the time he got back to the dugout after Russell Mitchell subsequently grounded out to end the inning, his hand had swelled to the point that it was clear Lindsey needed further medical attention, and he was removed.

Lindsey immediately underwent an X-ray at the ballpark that showed a clean break of the fourth metacarpal. He is expected to see a hand specialist in either Phoenix or Los Angeles on Sunday, at which point it will be determined whether the fracture needs to be treated surgically. Even in a worst-case scenario, though, Lindsey is expected to be fully recovered well in advance of spring training.

"This will heal nicely," said Stan Conte, the Dodgers' director of medical services. "It will take some time to heal, but he will have plenty of time to be ready for spring training, no question about it."

Lindsey, 33, became the feel-good story of an otherwise feel-bad season for the Dodgers when he was called up after turning in a performance for the ages in the Pacific Coast League, where he batted .353 with 41 doubles, 25 homers, 97 RBI and a .400 on-base percentage. In 16 minor league seasons since he originally was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 13th round in 1995 out of Hattiesburg (Miss.) High School, he had never so much as spent a day on a 40-man roster until the Dodgers added him to theirs earlier this month.

He had one hit in 12 at-bats for the Dodgers.

"It's very sad, considering how long he waited for this opportunity, for him to have to swallow this pill," Torre said. "This kid certainly isn't going to let this take away from trying to fight his way back again next year."

Although he wore a soft brace on his hand after the game, Lindsey also was still wearing the smile that hasn't really left his face since the day he arrived.

"It is what it is," he said. "I still have to lean on my faith. There is a reason for it, and God has a plan for me. I just have to get through this and see what's next."

Lindsey also said it was only the second time in his pro career that he had ever been hit in the hand by a pitch.

Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.