PHILADELPHIA (AP) -Phillies All-Star second baseman Chase Utley broke his right hand when he was hit by a pitch during Thursday's 7-6 loss to the Washington Nationals.
Utley was hit in the fifth inning by Washington's John Lannan, who was making his major league debut. Utley finished the game, going 2-for-4, but X-rays afterward showed he broke his fourth metacarpal.
Utley planned to see specialist Dr. Randall Culp on Friday to determine the first step in his recovery.
``As breaks go, it's not that bad of a break,'' Utley said. ``It's definitely disappointing.''
Utley, batting .336 with 17 homers and 82 RBIs, didn't think he'd be sidelined for a month.
``I think it will be sooner than that,'' he said.
Utley's hand was swollen as he spoke with reporters after the game.
``It's definitely sore,'' said Utley, who will be placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career on Friday, when the Phillies open a three-game series at home against Pittsburgh.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Abraham Nunez likely will replace Utley at second base. Nunez had been splitting time at third base with Greg Dobbs and Wes Helms
``Chase is a big part of this team,'' Manuel said. ``He's one of our best players, both on defense and offense. We're going to fight our way through this.''
Utley leads the majors with 17 hit by pitches this season. He was hit 14 times last season.
After playing 43 games with the Phillies in 2003, he became a fixture at second base the following year after the team traded Placido Polanco to Detroit. Utley set career highs last season for homers (32), RBIs (102), runs (131) and hits (203).
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