CINCINNATI -- The Transformers-like hardware affixed to Zack Cozart's left elbow on Sunday made his injury look worse than it was.
Cozart, the Reds rookie shortstop, was fortunate to only have to wear a metal brace and pressure sleeve for the hyperextended elbow. But the bad news was he still needed to go on the 15-day disabled list. Shortstop Paul Janish was recalled from Triple-A Louisville to replace Cozart.
"I was just starting to get comfortable up here," said Cozart, who was batting .324 in his first 11 big league games since a July 7 promotion. "I had my routine down. It's frustrating since I've only been up here a couple of weeks or so. It's a freak accident and it happens. Now I have to deal with it."
Cozart, 25, was injured in a fourth-inning collision at second base with Atlanta baserunner Nate McClouth. On a fielder's-choice play, Cozart was receiving a throw from Joey Votto when McClouth slid into his left arm. Cozart immediately grabbed his elbow in obvious pain and was on the ground for several moments before being walked off of the field.
X-rays were negative and Cozart went for a MRI that confirmed the hyperextension.
"I tried to get around him to catch the ball," Cozart recalled. "I knew the ball was sinking on the other side of him, but I didn't have time to do it. Right when I went down to get it, he's sliding in and I think I hit him in the chest or upper leg. I was already extended perfect and when I got it, it went the wrong way. It didn't look that good and didn't feel good. Hopefully it won't take too long."
There was no timetable on Cozart's return, but he hoped to start swinging a bat again within a week. He will wear the brace for a few more days.
"We're just trying to let that calm down and do some icing," Cozart said. "After that calms down, we're going to do some strengthening stuff and try to get back as quick as possible."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.