Coke suffers bone bruise in his right foot
Lefty comes up lame fielding bunt attempt in fourth
DETROIT -- Tigers left-hander Phil Coke left his start on Monday against the Rays with what he called a bone bruise in his right foot when he slipped trying to chase down a fourth-inning bunt from Ben Zobrist.
Whether he'll be able to make his next start, scheduled for Saturday against the Red Sox, remains to be seen. As he sat in the Tigers' clubhouse on Monday after his team's 6-3 win in the series opener, and having just returned from getting x-rays on his foot, he was glad to hear that Charlie Furbush had picked up the win in his place.
"[Ben] Zobrist lays down a bunt and the carpet gave out on me," Coke said. "Apparently Furbush needed to get his outing in. Apparently it was a good idea that he did. I'm really excited for him. He threw really well."
So was Coke, until the fourth inning and the bunt. He seemingly had carried over the stingy form that helped shut down the Red Sox offense last Wednesday at Fenway Park, and retired the Rays in order through three innings.
A B.J. Upton walk, Johnny Damon single and Evan Longoria sacrifice fly opened the scoring for Tampa Bay. Then came Zobrist's bunt, a roller on the grass near the third-base line that sent Coke pouncing to his right to try to reach.
"I'd going to have to say it was a freak thing," Coke said. "I've pivoted on my foot like that hundreds of millions of times, it seems like, and nothing like that's ever happened."
At first glance, it appeared Coke's ankle had turned trying to spring off the mound. Coke, however, said the injury happened when he hit the third-base side of the dirt cutout that leads from the mound to home plate.
"It's basically a bone bruise," he said. "It's basically two bones, there's a little separation and then they came back together hard, bruised the space in between."
It's an extra bone in Coke's foot, he said, something he didn't know he had until he was examined after the injury.
"Given the possibilities of breaking something, tearing something and being put in a cast or having to have surgery, it was the best possible thing that could happen," Coke said.
At this point, he assumes it's a day-to-day injury. How many days it takes to heal is anyone's guess.
Coke gave up a run on two hits over 3 1/3 innings with a walk and a strikeout. Furbush, a starter at Triple-A Toledo until he was called up Saturday to replace injured Brad Thomas in Detroit's bullpen, followed with 3 2/3 scoreless innings on two hits and three strikeouts, holding down the Rays until the Tigers grabbed the lead.
Manager Jim Leyland was asked whether Furbush could end up starting for Coke if he isn't ready.
"That's putting the cart before the horse," Leyland said.