KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -Detroit reliever Joel Zumaya had a heavy bandage on his painfully swollen middle finger Sunday and was headed for New York for an appointment with a hand specialist.
The hard-throwing right-hander, whose fastball has been clocked at 100 mph, described the sensation as a ``shocking pain'' and said he had no idea how long he might be out after incurring the freakish injury while warming up Saturday night.
``I thought maybe my knuckle cracked. I went to a curveball and I couldn't even grip the ball,'' he said. ``I threw another fastball and it popped again, and a sharp pain ran through my finger. I called down and said, `I need a trainer quick.'''
Neither Zumaya nor Tigers manager Jim Leyland had any idea Sunday how long he might be out. A key member of the staff that took the Tigers to the World Series last year, Zumaya was 1-1 with a 3.63 ERA this year following a slow start. He was put on the disabled list Saturday night with what was described as a sprained right middle finger.
Zumaya said he would see Dr. Charles Melone on Monday in New York.
``I just want to go up there and get the word,'' he said. ``It's really swollen right now. I have a sharp pain. The word's going to come tomorrow. Hopefully, it'll be a good one. I'm kind of frustrated right now.''
Leyland said he was not sure what he would do to rearrange the pitching staff.
``I'll mix and match,'' he said. ``No. 1, what we want to do is try to find out the significance of the injury and then make a decision on somebody that would be a longer term or a shorter term guy. If this thing is more significant, which I'm assuming it probably is, then we'll weigh all our factors on how we re-establish our pitching staff, whether we bring up a starter or go a different way with a reliever.''
Right-hander Aquilino Lopez was called up after Zumaya went on the DL. Lopez allowed two runs and two hits in 1 1-3 innings in the Tigers' 13-4 win over Kansas City on Sunday.
``It's discouraging, but hopefully it's not as bad as people think it is,'' Zumaya said. ``It's a freakish injury. Even the trainers are like, `I can't believe that's possible.' But I have a lot of torque and a lot of whip in my wrist and my finger.''
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