Victor Martinez Fractures Left Thumb, Disabled List Decision To Come

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Another day, another potentially crushing injury for the Red Sox.

Star catcher Victor Martinez suffered a fractured left thumb on one of multiple foul balls that glanced off his glove early in Boston’s 5-1 win over San Francisco on Sunday.

Martinez was first hit by a foul tip that caught the glove and then his once-injured left foot in the second inning, causing him to limp badly for several seconds. Another foul caught the glove with one out in the third and he was replaced behind the plate by Jason Varitek to start the fourth inning.

After the game Martinez and manager Terry Francona said that the club will wait for the swelling to go down and for tests to be conducted Monday before determining if the catcher will need to go on the disabled list. They are hopeful that will not be the case.

“We have tomorrow off,” Francona said. “We’ll get him looked at. We gotta get the swelling out of there to see. We don’t know the severity of it yet. There’s a chance that maybe if he can get the swelling out of there he can handle it. Now, maybe he can’t. Maybe that’s premature. But it’s not an automatic DL.”

Martinez, who was out of the starting lineup for three games after having a foul ball hit off his left big toe May 24 in Tampa Bay, is confident he can return sooner rather than later.

“By the time I got back to the dugout it swelled and swelled,” Martinez said. “I couldn’t put my hand in the glove. I was really in pain. I don’t think I have to go on the disabled list. It is pain, but we’ll see tomorrow. I’m gonna have it checked out again and see what happens.”

It is the latest blow for a Red Sox’ team that continues to weather the storm of constant injuries. In the San Francisco series alone, second baseman Dustin Pedroia was put on the 15-day disabled list after fouling a ball off his left foot and breaking it, and starter Clay Buchholz had to be removed after one inning of his start Saturday after suffering a hyperextended knee running the bases.

Josh Beckett
, Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Lowell and Jeremy Hermida are already on the DL, with no set date for any of them to return.

Martinez is hitting .290 with nine home runs and 38 RBIs in 66 games.

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