By Ashley Dunkak
COMERICA PARK (CBS DETROIT) – Nearly losing a game was bad enough. Nearly losing rookie shortstop Jose Iglesias was much, much worse. When a 95-mph fastball plunked Iglesias square on the hand, he fell to the ground, writhing in pain, and head athletic trainer Kevin Rand sprinted out of the dugout, and Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland feared the worst.
“To be honest with you, I thought it was probably broke because it didn’t sound good,” Leyland said. “When you’re as close as we are to the dugout sometimes – it does sound a little different with the glove. When I heard it, I thought it was probably not good. I thought it was probably fractured or something, to be honest, but fortunately it wasn’t.”
The injury is listed as a left hand contusion, and it is unknown yet how many games Iglesias might miss, but the Tigers still feel they dodged a bullet. Iglesias’ gut reaction to the hit was akin to Leyland’s – he thought his hand was broken.
“I felt that way too,” Iglesias said. “It was 95 miles an hour in the hands, but I got lucky. I got lucky that it’s not broken.”
Even as the 23-year-old sat by his locker and fielded questions, the hand continued to cause him considerable pain.
“It’s bad,” Iglesias said. “It feels bad right now, but it’s not broken, so eventually I’ll be ready soon.”
The Tigers can only hope.