SAN FRANCISCO—Nori Aoki, leadoff hitter for the San Francisco Giants, will be out of play for at least two weeks due to a fractured fibula.
The fracture was apparently caused by a wayward pitch from Dodgers starter Carlos Frias on June 20. Frias’ second pitch of the game hit Aoki just above his right ankle, crushing a nerve and causing pain and numbness. Despite the injury, Aoki walked to base and scored the first run of the game for the Giants.
X-rays taken at that time showed no sign of fracture, and until batting practice on June 23, Aoki was still determined to play. Worsening pain during practice convinced the medical team to run new X-rays, which revealed a fracture to his right fibula.
“I was definitely surprised,” Aoki said. “I came here ready to play. It was really weird that it got worse at that point.”
Team manager Bruce Bochy broke the news after Tuesday’s game against the San Francisco Padres.
“It’s a blow for us,” Bochy told reporters from the training room. “You hate to see it happen to him.”
With a .317 batting average, the lowest strike-out percentage of any major league player, and 12 stolen bases, Aoki was a critical asset to the team.
Aoki joins fellow outfielder Hunter Pence on the disability list. Pence’s left-wrist tendinitis has prevented him from playing since early June. Without Aoki and Pence, the Giants are down to the bare minimum of three outfielders with Justin Maxwell, Angel Pagan and Gregor Blanco.
There has been no official comment yet ,if any changes to the roster will be made. Star pitcher Madison Bungarner expressed his faith in the team, saying, “We’ve got plenty of confidence in everyone in here. If we want to be the ballclub we want to be, somebody’s got to step up.”