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Sheffield day-to-day with finger injury

Sheffield day-to-day with finger injury

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DETROIT -- Tigers designated hitter Gary Sheffield was scratched from Friday's game against the Chicago White Sox with a torn tendon at the top of his left ring finger. He is listed as day-to-day.

Sheffield's finger, which he jammed during Thursday's game, continued to swell overnight. Once the swelling subsides, the Tigers will be able to give an accurate timetable for his return.

Sheffield felt confident Friday morning that he would return soon, since the injury should allow for a normal swing when the swelling deflates.

"I feel OK. You don't need the tip of your finger, really, to hit," Sheffield said. "But right now, because of the swelling it's a little sore. But once we get the swelling down, it could be a day or two.

"I'm fortunate to be in this position and not in a worse position."

First baseman Carlos Guillen will take Sheffield's No.3 spot in the lineup. Miguel Cabrera, scratched from Thursday's game with soreness in his left quadriceps, will return as the designated hitter.

Sheffield will wear a splint off the field for six weeks, or however long it takes for the swelling to go down enough that he can straighten the finger.

On the field, the Tigers training staff will issue him a device to keep his finger straight.

"I shouldn't have a problem [playing with a splint]," Sheffield said. "The only thing they're concerned about is me wiggling the bat and being able to do that."

The injury occurred on a bang-bang play at second in Thursday's series finale with the Royals. Sheffield blooped a single in front of Royals left fielder Mark Teahen and broke for second. Teahen fired a strike to second to retire Sheffield for the first out of the inning.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland put Cabrera at DH on Friday, instead of the slugger's usual spot at third base, to prevent him from aggravating the soreness in his leg. Brandon Inge will play third for the second straight day.

"I don't want to take any chances," Leyland said. "If he can DH, fine. If not, I'll change it."

Cabrera has battled the soreness since Spring Training. He took the field for batting practice before Thursday's game, but soon complained of the pain in his leg and Leyland replaced him at third with Inge.

Scott McNeish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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