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Longoria won’t be ready to play Tuesday

Posted Mar 5, 2012 by Roger Mooney

Updated Mar 5, 2012 at 05:49 PM

ROGER MOONEY
PORT CHARLOTTE
Evan Longoria’s return from a bruised and swollen right hand was pushed back a day or two after he cut short his Monday morning batting practice.

“Took a couple (of swings), shut it down. A day or so more,” Longoria said.

The third baseman hasn’t played since being struck by a fastball from Matt Bush on the fatty part of his right hand during Thursday’s intrasquad game.

Longoria had targeted his return for Tuesday’s game against the visiting Twins, but that now seems unlikely. Rays manager Joe Maddon said he’s not looking at this as a setback.

“No, it’s just another day,” Maddon said. “We still got another month, and I’m happy with that. He’ll get plenty of at-bats. (Head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield) wants to make sure that even though he can play, that he can swing without any kind of restriction at all. Where as he might aggravate something and make it become more of a setback. He’s coming along great. He’s fine. But Ronnie just wants to hold back a little big longer.”

X-Rays of the hand Thursday were negative. Maddon said it is just taking longer to heal than anticipated.

“There’s nothing really horribly wrong,” Maddon said. “There’s a little discoloration, and Ronnie doesn’t really like that until it moves to the right spot. It can influence how he’s swinging the bat, and so we’ll wait.”

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