SAN DIEGO -- When Marcus Giles arrived at PETCO Park on Saturday afternoon, he was quite confident his left thumb was broken. But because he played 11 innings with the ailment on Friday night, the Braves are hopeful he simply suffered a sprain.
As a precaution, Braves trainer Jeff Porter had X-rays taken of Giles' thumb. Results weren't available before the start of Saturday night's game against the Padres. But it appears certain the veteran second baseman will be out of the lineup until at least the start of next weekend's series in Philadelphia.
"We know he sprained it," Porter said. "If we can get the swelling down to where he can grip a bat, he'll be back playing. That might be four or five days."
Giles suffered the injury while sliding headfirst into second base on a successful stolen base attempt in the first inning of Friday night's 15-12, 11-inning victory. He played the remainder of the game and even contributed a clutch single in the ninth inning.
But when he awoke on Saturday, the swelling had increased and he was unable to bend the thumb. He says the discomfort was similar to what he felt when he fractured his left middle finger while sliding headfirst into second base in an April 18 game against the Mets at Shea Stadium.
"It feels too much the same as it did in New York in April," Giles said before the X-rays were taken on Saturday. "But we'll see. I could be wrong. I hope I'm wrong."
With Giles unavailable on Saturday night, the Braves replaced him with Wilson Betemit at second base and in the leadoff spot. If it's determined that the veteran second baseman will miss significant time, the club could promote Tony Pena from Triple-A Richmond.
"Trying to hit him was like trying to drink coffee with a fork." - Willie Stargell on Sandy Koufax