Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal is likely headed for the disabled list Tuesday after breaking his left thumb sliding into third for a fifth-inning stolen base in a 6-1 win over the San Francisco Giants on Monday night.
This is a big blow for the Dodgers at this early stage after they just welcomed back another key member of the infield, third baseman Casey Blake.
The injury was unclear because Furcal stayed in the game for two more innings until Aaron Miles pinch-hit for him in the seventh. Furcal revealed the thumb was broken afterward. He underwent X-rays and said he expected to return to Los Angeles on Tuesday to be further examined by a hand specialist.
"It's bad. It's broken," said Furcal, who had been nursing a sore left wrist already this season. "I knew as soon as the play happened. I got up and I didn't feel it."
After Furcal spoke about the broken thumb, on his non-throwing hand, manager Don Mattingly said Furcal was probably headed to the DL on Tuesday. Rookie infielder Ivan De Jesus would be the likely candidate to be called up from Triple-A Albuquerque after he was optioned to the minors last Tuesday when Blake came off the disabled list.
Furcal, picked for his second All-Star team last season despite battling injuries, is hitting .192 this season with two RBIs in seven games.
In 2010, he had 34 multihit outings while playing in only 97 games — including seven straight multihit games from June 26-July 3. He batted .300 for the third time in five seasons and Los Angeles went 31-17 when he scored at least one run and 13-2 when he scored two or more times.
The 33-year-old Furcal has had his share of hard luck with injuries.
After a healthy 2009 season, he spent two stints on the DL last year, with a strained left hamstring and a lower back strain. Furcal missed 125 games in 2008 with a lower back injury and opened the '07 season on the disabled list with a sprained left ankle.