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Senzel eager to get to work on return from injury

MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- Nick Senzel experienced his first Reds game at Great American Ball Park on Saturday and will be spending the next couple of months in Cincinnati. But these occurrences did not happen for the reasons he was hoping for.

The Reds' top prospect will undergo surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn tendon in his right index finger, after suffering the injury in a game with Triple-A Louisville on Friday night. Senzel fielded a hard ground ball that hopped up toward his chest. He thought he'd suffered a fairly normal jammed finger. A couple of plays later, when he was making a relay throw to home plate, he heard a pop and his finger immediately began to swell up. After the pain intensified, he exited the game. Senzel thinks the ground ball was the leading cause.

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CINCINNATI -- Nick Senzel experienced his first Reds game at Great American Ball Park on Saturday and will be spending the next couple of months in Cincinnati. But these occurrences did not happen for the reasons he was hoping for.

The Reds' top prospect will undergo surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn tendon in his right index finger, after suffering the injury in a game with Triple-A Louisville on Friday night. Senzel fielded a hard ground ball that hopped up toward his chest. He thought he'd suffered a fairly normal jammed finger. A couple of plays later, when he was making a relay throw to home plate, he heard a pop and his finger immediately began to swell up. After the pain intensified, he exited the game. Senzel thinks the ground ball was the leading cause.

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"A couple batters later, the distance of the throw and the pressure I had to put on the baseball, the tendon -- right when I threw it -- just ripped a chunk of my bone off," Senzel said. "I heard it and knew it right away. The ground ball definitely played a major role in it. I am not just going to throw a ball and hear it pop. That is not how it works."

Senzel is having the surgery done in Cincinnati and will rehab the injury there, as well. It has been a frustrating season for the Reds' 2016 first-round Draft pick. He missed nearly a month while dealing with symptoms of vertigo and was playing well after he got back on the field.

Tweet from @LilSenzii: So hard to be frustrated with the raining support that has come my way #thankyouagain #seeyousoon

"I was going in knowing that something was wrong," Senzel said. "I was going in there knowing that I definitely was going to miss some time, because it was still swollen and it currently still hurts now. I was going in mentally prepared that I was definitely going to miss some time. I was kind of shocked that I was going to miss the rest of the season."

Senzel hit .310 with 12 doubles, two triples, six homers, 25 RBIs and recorded eight stolen bases in 44 games for Louisville. He sensed he was close to realizing his dream of being called up to the big leagues.

"I felt like [my injury] could not have come at a worse time, to be honest with you," Senzel said. "I felt like I was close [to the Majors]. I felt like I was right there. I felt like I was ready. ... I know a lot of people felt that way. Just working my way up -- and knowing and having conversations with my agent and agency -- I was right there."

Senzel took in Saturday's win from Reds owner Bob Castellini's box, which was hardly the first-time experience he'd envisioned at Great American Ball Park. Senzel said the support he's gotten from the organization has been uplifting and that he has accepted his fate and is now focused on returning stronger.

"I think, at this point, it's kind of accepting that I won't be playing in another game," Senzel said. "You just move on, and I get surgery Tuesday and get to work on getting this thing better. I start my rehab on Wednesday. Time to get to work to where I need to be."

Brian Scott Rippee is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Reds, Nick Senzel