Sheets may have MRI since sprained finger hurts

Updated: July 15, 2007, 7:29 PM ET news services

Ben Sheets


Starting Pitcher
Milwaukee Brewers


2007 Season Stats
19 10 4 25 90 3.39

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee All-Star Ben Sheets said after Sunday's 4-3 win over the Rockies that his right middle finger had not improved since he left Saturday night's game with a sprained distal.

"I just can't put any pressure on it," he said.

Sheets said he remains uncertain if he will have an MRI on Monday, and he is not sure if he can make his next start. X-rays were negative Saturday, when Sheets left the game in the fourth inning after throwing a pitch to Todd Helton.

On Saturday night, team officials said they didn't think the injury was serious.

The right-hander threw a pitch to Helton and immediately grimaced in pain. After meeting on the mound for a couple minutes with head trainer Roger Caplinger and manager Ned Yost, the Brewers ace was removed from the game with the Rockies leading 1-0.

"I'm kind of optimistic. I think I'll be alright," Sheets said on Saturday. "Hopefully, it's like a groin strain. You come out, you be smart and hopefully in five days you go about your business."

Sheets said it was a sprain of the top knuckle on the finger. He said he first felt pain on the second to last pitch he threw.

"I felt something pop, snap -- I don't know what it was," Sheets said. "I knew when the trainer got out there, that there wasn't going to be any more pitches for me."

X-rays were negative, but the team said Sheets would undergo an MRI on Monday if it continues to bother him.

"It's really just one more thing that's giving me fits right now," Sheets said, referring to a blister on his right hand that caused him to leave a game early on May 22.

Sheets (10-4) has a 3.39 ERA and had won six of seven starts before Saturday's game, in which the Brewers beat the Rockies 2-1 in 10 innings.

Yost said he wasn't going to let Sheets continue with Yovani Gallardo fresh in the bullpen.

"The trainer put some pressure on it and it was a little painful," Yost said. "I wasn't going to take any chances with him trying to battle through something like that, maybe change his delivery and take a chance on hurting his arm."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.