BLACK OP­TI­MISTIC ABOUT DES­MOND PLAY­ING IN APRIL

The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

scottsdale, ariz.» Ian Des­mond re­turned to the Rock­ies’ club­house Thurs­day, a day after sur­geons re­paired a bro­ken bone in his left hand. Even with his left arm wrapped like a club, with a metal plate in­serted un­der the skin, Des­mond’s prog­no­sis made man­ager Bud Black a bit cheery.

“Now the heal­ing process be­gins,” Black said. “Men­tally he’s do­ing great. We’re think­ing that hope­fully he will re­turn to ac­tion in April . ... It was a break, and breaks take four to six weeks. He’ll need some game ac­tiv­ity to get his legs un­der­neath him, to get his tim­ing down. Then it’s pretty much how the player feels and his readi­ness.”

A re­turn in April, the first month of the sea­son, is an op­ti­mistic time­line and a best-case sce­nario for Des­mond, who was hit by a pitch last week­end. The Rock­ies said catcher Tom Mur­phy, who has a hair­line frac­ture in his right arm, also is ex­pected back in four to six weeks. Mur­phy doesn’t need surgery.

Tampa Bay out­fielder Kevin Kier­maier suf­fered a bro­ken metacarpal bone in his left hand last year. After surgery, he missed seven weeks of the sea­son. Des­mond, now on pain med­i­ca­tion, should be able to throw, train and do some one­handed swing me­chan­ics ex­er­cises

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