CLEVELAND – Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo could miss up to 2½ months after having surgery on his broken left thumb.
Choo's thumb was broken Friday night in San Francisco when he was struck while batting in the fourth inning by Giants left-hander Jonathan Sanchez. Choo's finger was also cut and required stitches.
On Tuesday, Choo's thumb was repaired at the Cleveland Clinic by hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham. The Indians said Graham "openly reduced and internally fixated the fracture."
Indians head trainer Lonnie Soloff said recovery is 8-10 weeks, which includes any rehab time he might need.
"Before anything went down today, we knew that he was going to be down for at least two months," Indians manager Manny Acta said before a night game Tuesday at Arizona. "That's no secret to us."
Choo was batting .244, with five home runs and 28 RBIs in 72 games. At the time of his injury, he was homerless in 125 at-bats, but was beginning to show signs of emerging from a season-long slump. He had hit safely in 29 of his past 36 games and batted .370 over his previous eight games.
Acta has been rotating Austin Kearns, Travis Buck and Shelley Duncan to replace Choo in right field and will likely continue to do so with limited alternatives. Buck started in right against the Diamondbacks on Tuesday.
"You can talk to the other 29 clubs and every team that's in it, they're not going to be getting rid of their players," he said. "It's very tough to find a player of his caliber on any club anyway or in our system, so we're just going to have to do the best we can and have guys pick up the slack at different positions, have guys play up to their capabilities.
"There's no magic wand on this one. We lost a good player and we're just going to have to move forward without him until he comes back."
It's been a tough season for Choo. The South Korean was arrested on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol in May and recently acknowledged letting his off-field problems influence his on-field performance.
Last season, Choo was the only AL player to hit .300 with 20 homers and 20 steals.