CLEARWATER FL - FEBRUARY 19: Domonic Brown #9 of the Philadelphia Phillies runs to third base during a spring training workout February 19 2011 the Carpenter Complex at Bright House Field in Clearwater Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Domonic Brown Undergoing Surgery For Broken Hamate Bone

After a disappointing start to his spring, Domonic Brown's 2011 has gotten even worse with a broken hamate bone.

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Domonic Brown Injury Requires Surgery; Won't Return To Phillies Until April Or May

Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown left Saturday's game with an injury that x-rays showed to be a broken hamate bone in his right hand. The usual course of action after such a break is to schedule an operation, but the Phillies didn't want to rush into anything until Brown visited with a hand specialist.

Brown saw that specialist on Monday. And Randall Culp has recommended that Brown undergo surgery, which the Phillies have scheduled for Tuesday. This was always the most probable outcome; Culp simply confirmed what everyone figured.

After the operation, Brown's expected to miss between 4-6 weeks of action, which means he's going to be on the DL at the start of the season. And after he's healthy, the Phillies may choose to send him on a brief AAA rehab so that he can face some live pitching and work himself up to speed. Until Brown's able to come back, the Phillies will likely go with Ben Francisco in right field. The right-handed Francisco has a career .775 OPS.

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Phillies' Domonic Brown Breaks Hamate Bone, Could Miss Beginning Of Season

Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown is one of baseball's most promising young players, but may not get to realize his potential at the beginning of 2011. CBS Sports' Danny Knobler reports that Brown broke the hamate bone in his right hand today against the Pirates in a spring training matchup.

Knobler writes that the injury will require surgery, and should knock Brown out of the Phillies' lineup for three to six weeks; at the very least, it's unlikely that he'll be back before the end of March, and quite possible that he won't be available until sometime after Opening Day.

That all but ends what was already a disappointing spring training experience for Brown on a bittersweet note:

Brown was hitless in 15 at-bats this spring before Saturday. He apparently broke the bone on his first swing of the day, but continued the at-bat and got his first hit.

On a more depressing note for Phillies fans: Brown's power might suffer in his recovery from a broken hamate bone. As Keith Law noted in 2010, full recovery of power from a hamate injury can take more than a year.

Brown was expected to replace former Phillie Jayson Werth in the outfield. It's unclear who will replace Brown while he recovers.

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