Walker Receives Good News From Hand Specialist

Neil Walker saw hand specialist Dr. Tom Hughes at AGH on Thursday morning. After undergoing x-rays on his dislocated right pinky and being evaluated, Walker said that it was all good news.

“I definitely feel like I came out on the upper end, if something were going to happen to me,” Walker said. “It’s really on me now, the pain tolerance and what not. The swelling is down considerably, which is good. It’s obviously still sore, but I’m going to do everything I can to get back as quickly as I can.”

Walker suffered the injury in the first inning against Los Angeles after attempting to turn a double play. Walker fielded the ball and ran to second base for the tag, then while making the throw to first, fell on the ground. Walker said he knew immediately that he dislocated his finger after landing.

“There was nothing said that I would be restricted,” Walker said, who added he can almost make a fist due to the swelling regressing. “I think the biggest hurdle is going to be swinging the bat, probably more focused than that would be swinging the bat left-handed because it’s the bottom hand. I’ve grabbed a bat a couple times today, but certainly haven’t swung at 90+mph pitches. It’s really going to go on how it’s feeling. I’ve had this before a couple years ago on the other side, so I know the feeling. I know the progression of swinging off the tee and moving forward to BP.”

Treatment, Walker said right now, is a lot of ice and lot of compression over night.

“I’m going to take a strength ball to make sure I don’t lose any kind of strength, because obviously I haven’t done much with it,” he said. “Other than that, it’s just a lot of ice and a lot of compression over night. There’s nothing that’s holding me back in terms of mobility and doing too much.”

The Pirates played rookie Jordy Mercer at second on Thursday in Walker’s absence. Manager Clint Hurdle said that the reason he played Mercer over Josh Harrison was that he felt he gave him a better shot off the bench with the shortened bench. Mercer could see the primary playing time there until Walker is healthy. Hurdle said before the game that a disabled list was not an option.

“Mercer, I do believe I want to see him [playing] there first right now with all the different circumstances we’re dealing with,” Hurdle said.

Walker is aware of where the club is in the pennant race and heading to St. Louis opens up a big series, in which both clubs are currently tied for second in the National League Central and for the second spot in the Wild Card.

“I’m certainly not going to do anything to compromise re-injuring it, or come back if the swelling has not subsided completely,” Walker said. “Every game from now on is very important, so I’m going to try and get back as quickly as I can.”

Hurdle said he has no plans to revert back to the five-man rotation early because of the short bench with Walker.

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James S

The Pirates arent as bad as they are playing right now, but unfortunately they arent as good as they were playing in June & July. They are somewhere in between in reality.
Even if they make the playoffs, they arent better than the Reds this year.
Maybe next year, but right now, I’m still happy they are a much improved team and heading in the right direction. They may not make the post-season, but I fully expect them to finish well-above .500.
As Marte & Alvarez mature and they hopefully get some more good hitters in the line-up, they will be force to reckon with now and in the coming years. I just wish they had pulled the trigger on getting a proven hitter such as Chase Headley. Hopefully they’ve learned their lesson. They should have taken the offer on him, Huntington blew that one.

I hope they extend Garrett Jones and keep most of the other guys for next season (I’m not sold on Gaby Sanchez though unless he dramatically improves). What we are seeing with Garrett Jones is what he was always capable of if only he got some decent pitchs to hit instead of being pitched around, as he has since the league became aware of him after his first season with the Pirates. This is the first year since his rookie year that he has gotten anything decent to hit since they never had decent hitters batting before & after him like this year.

Bryan Graham

While the hitting has been inconsistent recently, I am way more concerned with the pitching and the very horrible defense they have been playing. I might be having nightmares about slow rollers and bunts to the 3rd baseman for a while.

Dom Kay

The young lady brings the goods…The message was clear and concise. I actually feel I am disrespecting the quality of the reporting mentioning her gender. I love the grammar police…Thanks for the informative article.

James S

Lay off of Kristy, pal!

Nick Paradise

That is not a very good lead sentence. Major run-on. How bout…

“Neil Walker’s Thursday morning visit to Allegheny General Hospital was a good one.

The Pirates’ second baseman received an encouraging prognosis from hand specialist Dr. Tom Hughes after undergoing x-rays on his dislocated right pinky.”

Lee Young

Kristy is one of the better Pirate writers out there. She can make a (supposedly) run-on sentence any day of the week as far as I am concerned!!!

I had ZERO problem with her structure and I am one who usually cringes at that stuff.

Nick Paradise

It is much improved now that the first graph has been split into two sentences. Nothing personal, just a former journalist pointing something out.

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