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Updated: May 5th, 2010 11:49pm
MRI reveals nature of Neshek's hand injury

MRI reveals nature of Neshek's hand injury

by Phil Mackey
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As it turns out, maybe Pat Neshek doesn't deserve to be in the doghouse after all. 

And the Twins' medical staff might want to use a mulligan.

Neshek confirmed via Twitter late on Wednesday night that he underwent an MRI on his sore middle finger, and results showed inflammation in the palm pulley tendon -- which is different than originally diagnosed.

Neshek elaborated further on his Facebook account, saying, "I went in for an MRI and to a hand specialist and learned that I was misdiagnosed. My pain was coming from near the palm of my hand where my middle finger in my palm...called a pulley tendon."

According to sources, the MRI was conducted on Tuesday, and the inflammation is believed to be very similar to the injury Michael Cuddyer sustained in June, 2008. Cuddyer missed five weeks with his hand injury, but was later placed on the 60-day disabled list after breaking his foot during a rehab stint.

Neshek has been instructed to rest his hand and finger as much as possible, and he will likely be given another cortisone shot sometime next week.

Neshek is eligible to come off the DL on May 12, but if this injury is indeed similar to Cuddyer's, don't expect him to pitch until closer to the end of the month.

Neshek received a cortisone shot on April 18 in his finger, and he missed 10 days between April 14 and April 24, but the shot never fully masked the pain. Now we know why.

Three days after a sloppy outing in Detroit on April 28 that saw him hit one batter and walk another, the Twins informed the right-hander he would be optioned to Class-AAA Rochester, but Neshek requested to be placed on the disabled list because of lingering pain.

Neshek, who missed the last two seasons due to Tommy John surgery, saw his fastball dip into the 84-85 mph range in April. At his peak in 2006, Neshek averaged a 91-mph fastball.

Due to the hand injury, however, Neshek has experienced difficulties gripping the baseball.

The most important question to answer now is why did it take three weeks to properly diagnose the injury?

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Michael Cuddyer, Pat Neshek