PHOENIX -- Even though he was struggling at the plate during the season's first few months, outfielder Eric Byrnes comforted himself with one thought.
"I could take solace in the fact I was at least healthy," Byrnes said.
That changed June 25, when Byrnes was hit in the left hand by a Scott Feldman fastball. The pitch fractured the fifth metacarpal in Byrnes' hand, and he had surgery the next day to have a screw and plate put in his hand. That came on the heels of a 2008 season in which he played sparingly due to problems with his hamstrings.
"To have this happen is tough," Byrnes said.
The cast has been taken off the hand and the stitches are out, but it will be still be a while before Byrnes is able to return.
"I'm on a four-week timetable, but the doctors are on an eight-week timetable," Byrnes said. "We'll probably meet in the middle."
Byrnes was hitting .216 with five homers and 24 RBIs at the time of the injury. He is in the second year of a three-year, $30-million extension.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.