PITTSBURGH (AP) -Brewers center fielder Bill Hall badly sprained his right ankle while leaping to try to catch Ryan Doumit's solo home run for Pittsburgh in the second inning Thursday and will be out indefinitely.
The injury to one of its top players could be a major setback to division-leading Milwaukee, which has lost five of seven and was beaten in three of four in Pittsburgh. Hall has a high ankle sprain, the more severe form of the injury and one that can sideline a football player for a month.
``I hope it doesn't take that long,'' Hall said.
The Brewers aren't estimating how long their 2006 team MVP will be out, but it will be until after the All-Star break. Hall returned to Milwaukee to see his own doctors and did not accompany the Brewers to their weekend series in Washington.
No fractures were revealed in X-rays taken in Pittsburgh, but Hall will undergo additional tests, including an MRI exam, in Milwaukee.
``I'll have to wait and see how much swelling there is,'' Hall said. ``Hopefully I'm a quick healer.''
Hall is hitting .272 with nine homers and 38 RBIs while usually hitting fourth or fifth in Milwaukee's order. His 288 at-bats are the third most on the club.
Hall's own athletic ability may have contributed to the injury. As he went back on the play, he used the center field wall's padding as a springboard to boost himself and get closer to Doumit's drive.
``I saw where the ball was,'' he said. ``I took a swipe with my glove and got pretty close to it, actually.''
That extra push caused him to get higher than he expected and, when he didn't land when he anticipated he would, he came down hard on the ankle.
``I didn't realize how high I was and I was prepared to land quicker than I did,'' said Hall, who returned to the lineup after being given a planned day off Wednesday. ``When I didn't, the ground kind of snuck up on me.''
Hall lay on the warning track while trainers and teammates gathered around him, finally limping off the field under assistance several minutes later.
With Hall out, Kevin Mench and Gabe Gross are expected to get more at-bats. Manager Ned Yost, who won't have the lineup flexibility he had before, was terse when discussing Hall's injury - no doubt unhappy that it accompanied a 6-3 loss to the Pirates.
``We'll know more (Friday),'' Yost said. ``Nothing is broken. That's the extent we know right now.''
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