PHOENIX -- Indians right fielder Shin-Soo Choo underwent surgery on his left thumb in Cleveland on Tuesday and will be out eight to 10 weeks.
The operation was performed by renowned hand specialist and surgeon Thomas Graham at the Cleveland Clinic. Graham had to open the thumb, reduce and internally fixate a displaced fracture.
"It means that he had to go inside and put the bone back in place," Indians head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff said before Cleveland played the D-backs at Chase Field in the second game of a three-game series. "By fixation, it means that he usually holds it in place with a plate or some screws. I'm not sure what process he used in this case."
Choo virtually had the lower bone beyond the thumb's joint shattered, taking a direct hit on a pitch by Giants left-hander Jonathan Sanchez in a loss to at San Francisco on Friday. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list the following day.
Soloff said the estimate of eight to 10 weeks means Choo should be able to return in that period of time to Major League action.
Choo is hitting .244, with five home runs and 28 RBIs in 72 games. He was homerless in his last 125 at-bats, dating back to May 13. The left-handed hitter had, however, hit safely in 29 of his last 36 games, and posted a .370 average over his past eight contests.
Meanwhile, Indians manager Manny Acta must continue to juggle the lineup in Choo's protracted absence. Travis Buck -- who recently has been up and down from the Minors -- has been playing right field, and was batting sixth on Tuesday night.
"Before anything went down [on Tuesday], we knew [Choo] was going to be gone for two months," Acta said. "That was no secret. But still, there's only so much you can do. You can talk to the other 29 clubs, but they're not going to give up a player if they're in it. And we don't have a player of that caliber in our system. We're just going to have to do the best we can do to have guys pick up the slack and play up to their capabilities.
"There's no magic wand on this one. We lost a good player."
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.