Already struggling to generate enough offense in the midst of a five-game losing streak, the Orioles will now be without right fielder Nick Markakis for at least the next few weeks.
The outfielder has a broken hamate bone in his right wrist and will undergo surgery to have it removed by hand specialist Dr. Brian Schofield on Friday morning. Markakis is expected to miss three to four weeks, leaving another hole in a lineup struggling to score runs as the Orioles have lost eight of their last 10 games.
Markakis reportedly suffered the injury sliding over a week ago before fracturing the bone completely on a swing in his final at-bat of Tuesday night’s loss in Toronto. An initial x-ray did not detect the hamate fracture on Wednesday, which is common given the size of the bones in the wrist.
Hamate bone fractures are a fairly common injury among baseball players as Ken Griffey Jr., Jim Thome, Dustin Pedroia, and Pablo Sandoval suffered similar injuries in their careers. However, the Orioles’ timetable for Markakis’ return may be optimistic as Sports Illustrated injury expert Will Carroll tells WNST.net the recovery time for hamate bone surgery is typically six to eight weeks. When fractured, the bone is typically removed as it is not necessary to the functions of the wrist.
With Thursday’s off day, the Orioles will not make a roster move until Friday and will call up an outfielder from Triple-A Norfolk, with Xavier Avery, Lew Ford, Bill Hall, and Jai Miller all candidates for a promotion. Avery was optioned to the minor leagues earlier this week but would be able to be recalled ahead of the 10-day rule since he would be replacing an injured player.
Markakis is hitting .263 with eight home runs and 26 runs batted in in 50 games this season and will be placed on the 15-day disabled list for the first time in his seven-year career.