Zumaya back with Tigers after surgery on finger

Updated: August 21, 2007, 10:17 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Joel Zumaya


DETROIT -- Joel Zumaya was so keyed up about returning to the Detroit Tigers bullpen that he could hardly sleep.

Out since May 3 because of strained middle finger on his right hand, the hard-throwing Zumaya was activated Tuesday from a rehabilitation assignment. He rejoined the Tigers as they opened a key AL Central series against Cleveland and contributed right away.

Zumaya entered in the top of the seventh to relieve Jair Jurrjens. He retired the only batter he faced.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland had said he would prefer to use Zumaya for only one inning in his first post-injury action.

"I stayed up until 3:30 in the morning just thinking about it," Zumaya said before the game. "I'm excited, man. I'm really excited ... It's been a while."

The 22-year-old set-up man went on the disabled list after his injury and had surgery to repair the tendon on May 10.

Zumaya often throws over 100 mph. He said he worked on his breaking pitches and changeup a lot during his minor league rehab appearances.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.