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04/08/08 10:43 PM ET

Kendrick sits but thumb not broken

Angels expect second baseman back in lineup soon

ANAHEIM -- It was nothing like last April when a pitch by A's right-hander Chad Gaudin in Oakland fractured the middle finger in Howard Kendrick's left hand, taking him out of action for almost five weeks.

This 93 mph delivery by Indians right-hander Fausto Carmona in the fourth inning on Monday night jammed Kendrick's right hand and took him out of the game, but it didn't break him.

"I didn't think anything was broken when it happened," he said, an X-ray having confirmed no structural damage after the game. "I could still move it. There's a tendon or nerve that runs across the hand there at the thumb, and it started to swell up. Maybe I popped a blood vessel.

"I'll see how it feels and try to get back out there when I can. I don't want to miss much time the way things are going."

Kendrick, who leads the American League with 12 hits and is tied for third in average at .429, said he regretted not wearing a thumb guard beneath his batting glove on a cold night, with one of the game's best sinkerball pitchers on the mound.

"At 93 [mph], by the time you swing at the last minute, it falls off inside," Kendrick said. "That's how I jammed it. I feel like I got lucky this time, after having [two] broken bones [in the left hand] last year. I don't want to dodge anything more after last year."

Kendrick took some swings before Tuesday night's game and felt some residual pain, but manger Mike Scioscia hopes to have his second baseman back in a day or two. Maicer Izturis was at second on Tuesday night with Erick Aybar at shortstop.

"He took some soft-toss and felt progress," Scioscia said of Kendrick. "It's still a little tender. He's day-to-day."

Kendrick, who was back in the dugout when Torii Hunter launched his walk-off grand slam to beat the Indians, said he had no thoughts about the Oakland incident and this will have no lingering effect on him.

"I'm not going to be afraid of getting jammed when I come back," Kendrick said. "I can't worry about it."

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.