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Grandy out at least four weeks with knuckle fracture

Outfielder stays in initially after being plunked on left hand, exits after scoring

ST. PETERSBURG -- After just eight games on the field with the Yankees this season, Curtis Granderson is headed back to the disabled list.

Granderson suffered a fractured fifth metacarpal on his left hand when he was hit by a Cesar Ramos pitch in the Yankees' 9-4 victory over the Rays on Friday at Tropicana Field. He is expected to miss a minimum of four weeks due to the injury.

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"It is what it is. It kind of happened," Granderson said. "I can't change it right now; just got to move forward, continue to get back to work again. Another bump in the road, but that's it, just a bump. We'll heal up and come back and be back ready."

The fracture is near the knuckle of Granderson's pinky finger. It has been an unlucky year for the outfielder, who got a late start to his season due to a fractured right forearm suffered in the Yankees' first Spring Training game on Feb. 24, also on a hit-by-pitch.

"It's just crazy," Granderson said. "You can't really get too frustrated about it one way or the other, hang your head down on it. You keep your head up. It's done. You can't turn back the clock, any way you want to."

Granderson's bat had just started to come around for New York, highlighted by a 3-for-3 showing with a single, double and homer on Wednesday against the Orioles in Baltimore. He was 0-for-2 on Friday before the hit-by-pitch; the Yankees have not yet announced who will take Granderson's place on the roster.

"Curtis isn't an easy guy to replace because of the power," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "You just don't get that from everyone. We missed him the first seven or eight weeks of the season; now we're going to miss him for a while again."

Ramos drilled Granderson with a 90-mph sinker that ran inside, and Granderson initially tried to stay in the game, waving off the training staff from first base, but said that his left hand started throbbing when he reached third base later in the inning.

Seen on the field by Girardi and assistant trainer Mark Littlefield, Granderson left the game after scoring on David Adams' bases-loaded walk and was replaced in right field by Ichiro Suzuki. X-rays taken at Tropicana Field revealed the fracture.

"It's heartbreaking," Yankees pitcher David Phelps said. "He puts in all the hard work to get back, and now he's got to do it all over again. But he's proven to himself that he can do it, so there's no doubt he'll be back and be a big part of our lineup for the rest of the season."

Granderson said that he would stay with the Yankees through the weekend in St. Petersburg and is scheduled to see a hand specialist on Monday in New York, but the outfielder believes he will not need surgery.

"As of right now they said no, but we're going to see the specialist on Monday and get a better understanding," Granderson said. "I know they were waiting for one more X-ray to get another view that hadn't popped up yet."

Girardi offered a minimum timeline of four weeks for Granderson's recovery, but said the Yankees would know more after the specialist's evaluation.

"Usually broken bones don't heal in two weeks unless you're like three years old," Girardi said. "Curtis is not three years old anymore. You've got to say a minimum of four weeks, and then we'll go from there."

The injury is thought to be similar to the one that cost Alex Rodriguez more than a month last season. Rodriguez also suffered a fractured fifth metacarpal when he was hit by a pitch from the Mariners' Felix Hernandez on July 24 in Seattle, and he did not return to the Yankees' lineup until Sept. 3.

"I should be able to continue to keep range of the wrist and stuff like that once the swelling goes down," Granderson said. "I can continue to run, I can continue to throw, so hopefully continuing with baseball activities will help speed up the process."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.

New York Yankees, Curtis Granderson