Colorado Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez had a small tumor removed from his left index finger during exploratory surgery at the Cleveland Clinic.
Thomas Graham, a hand specialist who examined Gonzalez on May 29 when the Rockies had an off-day in Cleveland, performed the procedure, which he originally injured taking a swing and hitting a home run May 1 before re-aggravating it three times.
Rockies trainer Keith Dugger said a growth was found beneath the sheath around the muscle in Gonzalez's finger. Dugger said such tumors are common and pending a biopsy, the expectation is it will be benign.
"We're pretty optimistic at this point in time it's going to come back clean and just show that this is, indeed, scar tissue of some sort," Dugger said before the Rockies lost 13-10 to the Atlanta Braves. "These little benign tumors, which we hope it is, are probably the second most common finding in the finger besides cysts. Usually repetitive trauma causes it.
"They call them cell tumors. Pretty common within the sheath of these fingers. Usually benign. Occasionally, you can come up with something."
Gonzalez will return to Denver on Wednesday. After being examined by Graham on May 29, Gonzalez continued to play before being placed on the 15-day disabled list June 4 and after showing no improvement underwent the exploratory surgery.
"Typically, it's a couple weeks for the tissue to heal," Dugger said. "Then he'll get back his strength and start swinging. (It was) a little bit more invasive, meaning they took out a larger piece than they thought or what the MRI revealed."
Manager Walt Weiss said, "It helps explain some of the things that CarGo's been dealing with and why that finger kept blowing up on him. It helps answer some of the questions we had about him."