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Dodgers’ Hansen Humbled by Injury

March 3, 2001

VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ A glum Dave Hansen, sidelined at least four weeks with a broken finger, said the worst part about it was adding to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ injury situation.

``We’re not doing very well, are we? It’s very humbling, that’s all I’ve got to say,″ Hansen said Saturday, a day after breaking the middle finger on his left hand sliding into first base.

Hansen, wearing a cast halfway up his forearm, was injured in the seventh inning of a 5-4 loss to Houston in the exhibition opener for both teams.

``I didn’t hear anything pop or anything like that,″ Hansen said. ``I played the rest of the inning. It hurt like crazy.″

One of baseball’s top pinch hitters, Hansen was a strong candidate to open the season at third base because Adrian Beltre, the Dodgers’ starter there, had an emergency appendectomy Jan. 12 in the Dominican Republic, and is recovering from a subsequent infection.

Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said Beltre worked out Saturday on one of the fields at Dodgertown. Beltre had been limited previously to indoor work on a treadmill.

Hansen, 32, set a big league record last season with seven pinch hit home runs. Overall, he hit .289 with eight homers and 26 RBIs.

Among other possibilities at third are Chris Donnels, Jeff Reboulet, Hiram Bocachica and Tim Bogar.

``It hurts,″ Tracy said of Hansen’s injury. ``You realize what kind of player he is for the ballclub, and what kind of person he is. But it’s better to happen now than during the season.″

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