Things didn’t turn out as planned for A.J. Pollock when he dove for a line drive during a game against the Milwaukee Brewers on May 14. The ball sailed past Pollock, resulting in a two-run inside-the-park home run. The Brewers ended up beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-2.
To make things worse for the center fielder, Pollock rolled his gloved hand during the catch attempt, resulting in an avulsion fracture to his left thumb. Pollock is expected to spend four to eight weeks on the disabled list, putting his estimated return date at somewhere between about mid-June to mid-July.
This isn’t the first time that Pollock has suffered a fracture while diving for a ball. In 2010, he fractured his right elbow during Spring Training while diving for a ball. That injury sidelined him for the whole 2010 season. He broke his right elbow again in 2016 while sliding into home plate. Because of that injury, Pollock missed most of the 2016 season.
Fortunately for Pollock, his injury will not require surgery. Instead, he will be fitted with a soft cast. It is a big blow to his time, though, since prior to his injury, he had a .293 batting average, the highest on the team.
The bones in the hand are tiny, so they are more susceptible to breaks and serious injuries than some of the larger bones in the body. A hand fracture happens most often because of a traumatic injury, either being hit by something or hitting into something.
If the bone is sticking out after the injury, it is easy to know that you have suffered a fracture. Often, though, it is less clear that you have fractured a bone. A hand that looks deformed may indicate a hand fracture. If you experience swelling or pain, especially if the pain does not get better after you have iced the injured area, it is best to visit a doctor to have your injury assessed. Your doctor will perform a physical examination of the injured area. X-rays, a CT scan, or an MRI may also be used to determine the extent of the injury.