MINNEAPOLIS -- Byron Buxton could be out of the lineup for a few days with a left hand contusion after getting hit by a pitch in the third inning of Thursday's 3-1 loss to the White Sox
Buxton is considered day to day after X-rays were negative, but manager Paul Molitor believes his rookie center fielder could be out of the lineup when the Twins host the Angels on Friday. Molitor said Buxton could "potentially" be out three to five days.
"He took the full brunt of the pitch on the back of the hand," Molitor said. "I have a feeling that the grip's going to be challenging for him. But [he's] young, resilient. We'll see how fast he can bounce back."
Buxton reached base in his first at-bat when White Sox starter Mat Latos' high, inside pitch glanced off his left hand. He stayed in the game after being looked at by an athletic trainer and Molitor.
The speedy rookie promptly stole second base, but he was stranded there when Eddie Rosario's foul pop ended the inning.
"It just got a little bit more sore once I slid into second," Buxton said. "I think my adrenaline was pumping a little bit when I got hit. I was just ready to get to first base and get going. [I] slid at second, and you start to feel it a little bit more after that."
Buxton was replaced in center field to start the fourth by fellow rookie Max Kepler.
"He made some nice plays today," Molitor said of Kepler, another rookie, in center field. "He's got enough experience in the various outfield positions to step in when we need him. I'm already giving some thought, turning the page here to the Angels and how we might go with the outfield tomorrow.
"With Buxton being out, potentially, I don't know, three, five days, whatever it turns out to be, hopefully it's shorter than that, we're going to have to get the other guys out there in center field."
Buxton is hitting .167 this season with 13 strikeouts in 24 at-bats. The second pick in the 2012 Draft has already dealt with a few injuries in his professional career.
The 22-year-old missed time with a sprained left thumb last season. In 2014, he was out on separate occasions for a sprained left wrist and a concussion, and he missed time during the Arizona Fall League because of a fractured left middle finger.
"I got hit with the injury bug the last two years, so this is the last thing that I wanted to happen," Buxton said. "When [a] guy's pitching outside corner, he's got a breaking ball out there, you've got to stay in there and stuff happens."
Brian Hall is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.