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Updated: April 7th, 2011 2:58pm
Twins second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka breaks leg, heads to DL

Twins second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka breaks leg, heads to DL

by Tom Pelissero
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© AP 2011
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Tsuyoshi Nishioka is headed to the disabled list.

The Minnesota Twins' second baseman suffered a fractured left fibula in Thursday's 4-3 loss to the New York Yankees when Nick Swisher slid hard into Nishioka's leg to break up a double play.

Replays appeared to show Nishioka's left ankle give out as Swisher completed the slide. Manager Ron Gardenhire initially expressed optimism, telling reporters the team was taking X-rays on Nishioka's shin and not his knee, but the extent of the damage was revealed shortly thereafter.

The Twins quickly promoted Luke Hughes from Class-AAA Rochester to take Nishioka's place on the 25-man roster and are expected to have him in uniform for Friday's home opener against the Oakland Athletics.

Nishioka's injury came in the seventh inning with the Yankees leading 4-3, one out and Swisher on first base. Danny Valencia fielded Mark Teixeira's grounder and threw to Nishioka, who planted his left leg and tried to complete the double play as Swisher slammed into him.

Gardenhire, assistant athletic trainer Dave Pruemer and Nishioka's translator, Ryo Shinkawa, attended on the field to Nishioka, who put minimal pressure on his left leg while limping slowly of the field with help. Matt Tolbert replaced Nishioka at second base and is likely to start on Friday.

Dr. John Steubs will reevaluate Nishioka on Friday in Minneapolis. The 26-year-old was batting .208 (5-for-24) with a double, a stolen base and two RBIs in his first six games since being acquired in the offseson from Japan's Chiba Lotte Marines.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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