San Francisc Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval has reportedly fractured the hamate bone in his right hand and is expected to miss four to six weeks. Sandoval will have surgery in Arizona between now and Tuesday to remove a portion of the bone. Sandoval believes he suffered the injury on a slide into second base at Pittsburgh, while trainer Dave Groeschner thinks he did it on a swing in Friday’s game.
Whatever the case, it is a painful injury and it will leave the Giants offense further depleted. After struggling in 2010, Sandoval lost a lot of weight and was the leading hitter on the team a month into the season. He was leading the team with a .313 batting average, five home runs, an OBP of .374, and a slugging percentage of .904.
For those wondering about the hamate bone, the Internet provides all sorts of helpful information on this bone. Here is a quick rundown of the two types of fractures that could be in play. I’d imagine Panda suffered the first one, but there is no word on that yet:
Type I fractures involving the hook of the hamate are the most common and can occur via several different mechanisms.[1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7] First, repeated microtrauma to the hook during sports involving swinging clubs, bats, or racquets can result in a hook stress fracture. These usually occur in the nondominant hand and account for approximately one third of hamate fractures. Second, direct trauma can be applied during sports when the butt of the club rests on the hamate and the force of the swing is then transmitted directly to the bone. In addition, indirect trauma can be applied to the hook through its muscular and ligamentous attachments. This can occur either when falling on a hyperextended wrist or during power grips.
Type II fractures involving the body of the hamate are less common than type I fractures and always require direct force.4 Most commonly, these fractures occur with a punch-press injury or dorsopalmar compression of the wrist between heavy weights.