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07/02/09 9:25 PM ET

Injured finger keeps Ramirez out

White Sox shortstop may return to action on Friday

KANSAS CITY -- Alexei Ramirez was out of action for Thursday's series opener against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium, bothered by a bruise on the tip of his right middle finger, which caused him to leave Wednesday's game in Cleveland prior to the bottom of the eighth inning.

The White Sox shortstop suffered the injury at the beginning of the Cleveland series while fielding a ground ball.

"It nicked me there," said Ramirez through interpreter and bullpen coach Juan Nieves. "Then I got inflammation, and of course I couldn't squeeze the ball."

Ramirez said the injury only bothers him throwing the ball, and it certainly hasn't slowed him down at the plate. He's hitting .386 with three home runs and nine RBIs in his last 11 games, including nine hits in his past 19 at-bats.

X-rays were negative in the injured area of Ramirez's finger, but there's no guarantee he will be back in the lineup on Friday against Royals ace Zack Greinke.

"Possibly," said Ramirez, who was replaced by Jayson Nix on Thursday.

"I cannot say he will be back tomorrow," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. "It's still a little bit early. I don't want him to aggravate it. I'll talk to him and make sure he doesn't take any ground balls. But he feels better. There's no hairline fracture. I worry about that one. Hopefully he will be back tomorrow, for sure. I got to wait for him to see how he feels."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.