Clearwater, FL (Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Phillies expect to have slugger Jim Thome ready for the start of the regular season, despite a fracture on the tip of the middle finger on his right hand.
Thome suffered the injury during fielding drills on Friday and it was feared the first baseman could have been sidelined until early in the regular season. However, he is only expected to be out for three weeks.
Thome was examined Monday by hand specialist Dr. Randall Culp in Philadelphia. No damage was found to the tendon in the finger and Thome is expected to wear a splint. No surgery was deemed necessary and he will not be allowed to hit or throw for the next two weeks. If there was damage to the tendon, he may have needed a pin inserted and would have been sidelined up to two months.
The 33-year-old Thome was acquired last year during the offseason and signed a six-year, $85 million contract. He proved to be worthy of the money, as he hit 47 home runs, tied for most in the majors, with 131 RBI and a .266 batting average.