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Piazza sprains left wrist
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07/20/2004 11:49 PM ET
Piazza sprains left wrist
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Mike Piazza is led off the field by a trainer after injuring his wrist during the second inning. (Julie Jacobson/AP)
• Mike Piazza gets injured:  56K | 350K

NEW YORK -- Mike Piazza was hopeful that his sprained left wrist, an injury he sustained on Tuesday night, wouldn't keep him out of the lineup for long. But the wrap and plastic cast he was wearing, combined with the hushed tones in which he spoke, led to the idea that Piazza might be on the shelf for more than just a few days.

No one wanted to use the phrase "disabled list" when talking about Piazza's near future. Though X-rays of the wrist were negative, the second-inning collision with Juan Pierre left Piazza hurt enough that an MRI will be taken on Wednesday morning, then a decision will be made based on the information gathered.

Piazza is scheduled to meet with team hand specialist Dr. Martin Posner and will, at the very least, be out until the end of the week. He has had some soreness in the wrist for much of the season, but the injury occurred between his thumb and forefinger, opposite to where the soreness has been.

Though it is not known if Piazza will go on the disabled list, the Mets made a roster move on Tuesday night, calling up top prospect David Wright from Triple-A Norfolk following the 9-7 loss to the Marlins. Wright will start at third base on Wednesday against Montreal, and Ty Wigginton will play first.

"Hopefully, [the wrist] will respond well to treatment, and we'll see," said Piazza. "I had a significant hand injury with the Dodgers in 1995, and I don't see missing any significant time with this. It's pretty sore right now, but I've always responded to treatment well. I just hope the MRI reveals swelling and nothing more."

Pierre had slapped a bunt down the third-base line in the first inning and ended up with a double because of it. He dropped his second bunt of the game an inning later, one that Wigginton charged and grabbed bare-handed. The throw and the runner, however, reached first base at the same time, and when Piazza reached out his glove to catch it, Pierre ran into the glove, snapping it back.

Piazza immediately dropped his glove and grabbed his wrist, doubling over in pain on the infield dirt. Manager Art Howe and trainer Scott Lawrenson dashed onto the field, and Piazza was immediately removed from the game. He experienced numbness in his hands, a feeling he likened to his "funny bone getting hit." The feeling returned after 10 minutes or so, and the pain kicked in.

   Mike Piazza  /   C
Born: 09/04/68
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 215 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R

"It was just one of those tough plays," he said. "It was a reaction play. He is a great base runner and gets a lot of velocity going down the line. The throw itself wasn't too, too bad. But when the ball and the runner get there at the same time, there's nothing you can do about the result. I felt like I was going to catch the ball, but it's not an impact-free position."

Eric Valent took over at first, and Wigginton was charged with a throwing error.

"It's going to be a few days, minimum," said Howe. "He's a tough son of a gun, though. If there's a way to get healthy quickly, he'll do it."

Piazza was involved in a collision at first base on Easter Sunday, in Puerto Rico. Montreal's Peter Bergeron slammed into him as he was attempting to corral a wild Tom Glavine throw, and the result was a sprained neck and elbow. He missed the home opener because of those injuries but was back in the lineup two days later.

Cliff Floyd watched Piazza and Pierre collide and shuddered. He nearly saw his career come to an end on a similar play at Shea Stadium nearly a decade ago. Floyd was playing first base for Montreal on May 15, 1995, when Mets catcher Todd Hundley slammed into him at first base.

Six of the eight bones at the base of Floyd's wrist were either broken or dislocated. He also suffered severe ligament damage and tore the sac that surrounded the bones. He bears a nasty, jagged scar on the wrist, the result of surgery that kept him out of action for nearly a year.

"The minute I saw it, [I shuddered]," he said. "How long he's out will depend on how far he bent it back. It's a tough thing to come back from. I know one thing, though. It's going to be tough to go back over to first base. That was my fear."

Valent, Todd Zeile, Jason Phillips and Shane Spencer figure to see time at first in addition to Wigginton.

Kevin T. Czerwinski is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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