THE SKY IS FALLING
Henson to miss four-to-six weeks with broken hand
.c The Associated Press
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - New York Yankees third base prospect Drew Henson is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a broken left hand.
Henson was hit by a pitch while playing for Class-A Tampa in a Florida State League game last Saturday. It was first believed Henson's hand was just bruised, but additional X-rays discovered the injury.
``You can't get down about it,'' Henson said while watching an extended spring training game Thursday. ``It's a long season. It's part of the game.''
Henson signed a $17 million, six-year contract with the Yankees last month. As part of the deal, Henson agreed to give up playing football. The starting quarterback at the University of Michigan last season, Henson was considered a potential 2001 Heisman Trophy candidate and first overall draft pick in next year's NFL draft.
The injury came in what was supposed to be Henson's final game in Florida before joining Triple-A Columbus.
``It was kind of a freak thing,'' Henson said. ``I've never been hit in the hand before. There's not much I can do, really.''
Henson remains upbeat and plans to use his extended stay in Florida to work on his game.
``It will give me some time to work on tracking the ball,'' he said. ``One thing I have done (this spring) is getting myself out a lot more than the pitchers. That's one thing I can try and focus on here, seeing as many pitches as I can in the bullpen.''
Henson said it would probably be four weeks before he will be able to resume swinging a bat.
Notes:@ OF Henry Rodriguez (back strain) reported no problems after playing three innings in left field during the extended spring game. It was his first outfield appearance since being placed on the 15-day disabled list at the end of spring training.
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