PHOENIX - Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon will be out for the next six weeks, as he is scheduled to undergo an operation Friday to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb.
Wearing a black brace on his right hand, Gordon -- a former Ogden Raptor -- was noticeably downcast Thursday in the visiting dugout at Chase Field. He looked down. His voice was low when he spoke.
"It’s how the year’s been," he said. "As soon as things start going good, something else comes up."
Gordon was injured Wednesday against the Cincinnati Reds on a head-first slide into third base. The results of the MRI exam the next day provided Gordon with another source of frustration in what has been an up-and-down season. Gordon leads the major leagues with 30 steals but is batting only .229.
Second baseman Mark Ellis was activated from the 15-day disabled list Wednesday, and Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are expected to return from their injuries on July 13. Gordon was so upset by the timing of his injury that he apologized to manager Don Mattingly.
Upon being injured, Gordon said he told himself, "Dude, I can’t be hurt. Mark Ellis just came back. Matt’s not back yet. Dre’s down. I can’t be hurt right now."
Because the pain wasn’t significant, Gordon didn’t think the injury was as serious as it was revealed to be.
"I thought it was probably like a partial tear and not to where I needed surgery," he said.
According to the timetable provided by the Dodgers, Gordon could return to action in mid-August. He will likely have to play in minor league games before he returns to the Dodgers.
But Gordon said he should remain in shape while sidelined, as he was told by doctors that he will be able to do everything except throw.
General Manager Ned Colletti said Gordon’s injury could affect the Dodgers’ thinking leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. The imminent returns of Kemp and Ethier decrease the urgency to add offense and could allow the Dodgers to search for defense.
For now, the Dodgers are expecting to mix and match at both shortstop and at the top of the order.
Recent minor league call-up Luis Cruz started at shortstop on Thursday. Elian Herrera, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Juan Uribe could also play there, according to Mattingly.
Herrera led off for the Dodgers on Thursday. Other candidates to do so in the future include Hairston and Ellis.
Reliever Javy Guerra was activated from the 15-day disabled list to take Gordon’s place on the active roster. Guerra, who underwent a minor knee operation on June 3, made two appearances for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga in the last week.
"I felt fine," Guerra said. "I felt I could do everything I would do normally. I’m just eager to get back with the team."