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Iglesias sustains bruised right finger on bunt

KANSAS CITY -- Jose Iglesias would rather be hit by a ball anywhere than on his hands, he said after the Tigers' 15-7 loss to the Royals on Thursday night.

They're that important.

As the shortstop winced in pain trying to pull his watch over his hand and onto his wrist, his right middle finger essentially immobile from a fouled-off bunt attempt, his concern was as obvious as his discomfort.

"I got a foul ball at home, right there," Iglesias said, referring to a foul tip that hit him below the belt earlier this season. "That was painful, too. But this type of hit-by-pitch, you're a little bit concerned, because the finger is very sensitive. But we'll see how it feels in the next few days."

Iglesias was diagnosed with a bruised right middle finger, the team announced. X-rays were negative, but he'll be evaluated on Friday once the Tigers return to Comerica Park to open a six-game homestand on Friday night against the Indians.

Barring a quick recovery, Iglesias appears unlikely to play a part in that series.

"He'll be out for more than a couple days," manager Brad Ausmus said. "It's his throwing finger."

Iglesias tried to catch the Royals by surprise with a two-out, third-inning bunt with James McCann on first base. Iglesias squared around to bunt as Edinson Volquez's 95-mph sinker came in on his right hand.

Iglesias fouled off the pitch and immediately fell to the ground, writhing in pain. He was still in agony after Ausmus and head athletic trainer Kevin Rand helped him to his feet and led him down the dugout steps to the clubhouse. Andrew Romine pinch-hit for Iglesias and remained in the game at shortstop.

"It was all purple when he was out on the field," Ausmus said of the finger, "but Kevin Rand said there was no break."

The swelling had reduced by the time Iglesias talked to reporters after the game, but he could barely move it. The ball hit on the top of the finger, between the knuckles.

"It doesn't look that bad," Iglesias said, "but it's a very sensitive area. Small bones."

Any major injury could mean a tough close to a successful rebound season for Iglesias, who missed all of last season after being diagnosed with stress fractures in both shins. He's batting .300 with two home runs, 23 RBIs, 11 stolen bases and a .720 OPS in 119 games.

Iglesias' bigger impact has been in the field, where the 25-year-old has become a regular on highlight shows with ranging plays, shovel tosses and strong throws with seemingly a flick of the wrist.

The Tigers immediately recalled shortstop prospect Dixon Machado from Triple-A Toledo to help fill the void. With expanded rosters in September, they didn't have to make a corresponding move or place Iglesias on the disabled list to make room.

The 23-year-old Machado made his big league debut in late May, starting two games of a three-game series at Oakland with Iglesias out. Machado batted .261 with 22 doubles, four homers, 48 RBIs and 15 stolen bases for the Mud Hens.

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.
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