Lawrie thought of playing through pain

September 21, 2011

It was typical Brett Lawrie.

With his right index finger in a splint and heavily taped, depicting the seriousness of the injury, the Toronto Blue Jays' promising rookie said one of his first thoughts was being able to play through the pain.

Diagnosed as a non-displaced fracture, the third baseman's season is now over after a whirlwind year that saw him suffer broken bones in each of his hands while still emerging as the Blue Jays' star of the future.

"It's been an interesting year," Lawrie said after the Los Angeles Angels subdued Toronto 7-2 Wednesday night at Rogers Centre. "I've had a lot of ups and I've had a lot of downs, especially when I broke my hand the first time, my left hand, that was when it seemed like things were really going down."

The first break, in his left hand, occurred when he was struck by a pitch in late May when he was tearing up the competition in Triple-A at Las Vegas.

Lawrie did recover from that and, upon his promotion to the major-league ranks with the Blue Jays on Aug. 5, went on an impressive power run that resulted in him hitting nine home runs in 43 games with a .580 slugging average.

But his season came to an abrupt end during pre-game batting practice on Wednesday when Lawrie was attempting to field a grounder and the ball took an unexpected high hop and jammed into his right index finger.

"I didn't think much of it but I was done after that," Lawrie said. "I just kind of went inside and just didn't think anything of it. Then we put it under the X-ray machine and sure enough there was something [a break]in there."

Lawrie said he first thought he might be able to play through the injury.

"I think I could because I'm comparing this to my left hand and what I did in Las Vegas -- and there's no comparison to the pain," he said. "But it still is a bit sore and it's going to be. It's a broken bone. They do heal but time's going to tell.

"If I were to play there's a potential chance that I could move it out of place which then I'd have to have surgery and put pins in. So it's in my best interests right now just to shut her down."

With just seven games remaining in the Blue Jays' regular-season schedule, the timing of the injury is the only positive aspect.

It is expected that it will take four to six weeks before the bone has mended and Lawrie can start focusing on the 2012 season.

"He's had a very encouraging showing," Toronto manager John Farrell said. "He's had a fantastic six weeks or so that he's been here. It's unfortunate that the year ends prematurely for him.

"When you look at the broken bones it's been a tough year for him in that regard. But what he's shown on the field is a very, very bright future."

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