Sun, May 18, 2003 - Page 23 News List

Yankees lose first baseman following stress fracture

AP , NEW YORK

New York Yankees first baseman Nick Johnson will miss four-to-six weeks with a stress fracture in his right hand, the latest injury in his young career.

"It's very frustrating," Johnson said before Friday's game against the Texas Rangers. "I thought I would be back in a couple of days. That's not the case. It's going to be awhile. I'm just going to try to get it right."

Johnson said he hurt himself on a foul ball in the ninth inning Wednesday night. He then grounded out, ending a loss to the Angels.

Johnson pulled himself out of Thursday's game and had tests Friday, which showed a stress fracture in the third metacarpal bone in his right hand.

The 24-year-old Johnson has been slowed by hand and wrist injuries in recent years.

He missed time in spring training because of a sprained left thumb and was on the disabled list last August with a sprained left wrist.

In 2000, Johnson was sidelined for the whole season because of an injured right hand.

Johnson is hitting .308 with five home runs and 18 RBIs, and leads the AL with 33 walks. He's made 23 starts at first base and 10 at designated hitter.

Todd Zeile took Johnson's place at first base on Friday night against the Angels. It was Zeile's second start of the season at first base, and slumping Jason Giambi remained as the DH.

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