Hairston fractures left thumb

Hairston fractures left thumb

MIAMI -- The Reds have lost another shortstop to injury.

Jerry Hairston fractured his left thumb while stealing second base in the first inning of Monday's game vs. the Marlins. Hairston led off with an infield single and stole second with Ken Griffey Jr. batting. Hairston also swiped third base, where he was standing when Griffey hit his 600th career home run.

Before the bottom the first, Hairston was replaced defensively by rookie Paul Janish.

X-rays confirmed the fracture, which will likely mean a trip to the disabled list. Hairston is the third Reds shortstop to get hurt this season. Alex Gonzalez came down with a compression fracture in his left knee during Spring Training. Gonzalez's replacement, Jeff Keppinger, suffered a fractured left kneecap when he fouled a pitch off his leg on May 13.

"They said anywhere from two to three, maybe four weeks," Hairston said. "Hopefully it's two. I finally feel really comfortable getting a chance to play every day, leading off. But hey, I'll just come back, pick up right where I left off, and that's all I can do."

Keppinger starts a rehabilitation assignment this week at Class A Sarasota and is considered close to returning to the club.

Still, losing Hairston is a big blow. Batting .336 with one home run and 14 RBIs in 40 games, he recently emerged as the best leadoff hitter Cincinnati has had this season.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.