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03/10/11 7:10 PM ET

Viciedo hit by pitch, suffers fractured thumb

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- One of the truly uplifting stories coming from White Sox Spring Training took on a somewhat somber tone Thursday afternoon.

Dayan Viciedo suffered a fractured right thumb when he was hit by a David Bush pitch in the eighth inning of a 7-6 victory over the Rangers. Viciedo went down to the ground on impact and stayed there briefly until White Sox assistant athletic trainer Brian Ball came out to check on him.

Viciedo moved to a seated position and then got up and left the field, even joking with manager Ozzie Guillen as they reached the dugout. But the news wasn't very humorous after an X-ray at the ballpark showed the injury, leaving the right fielder on the sideline for an expected three to four weeks.

"Every time you go to Spring Training, you always worry about that, people getting hurt," said Guillen of Viciedo. "When that happens to any player, especially the way he's been playing, it was sad.

"That's the bad part of this game. People get hurt and you feel for them, no matter if it was Dayan or anybody else. You don't want that to happen to anyone."

Guillen explained that Viciedo will be re-evaluated on Friday and checked out by the White Sox doctors. He held out hope the absence for Viciedo could be shorter than the expected month or so.

With Viciedo hitting .435 and playing solid defense in right during his first camp at that position, even picking up two assists, the rookie had worked his way into roster contention. A quick and healthy return by Viciedo still would leave him in play in Guillen's mind, along with Brent Lillibridge, Alejandro De Aza and Lastings Milledge, for that final utility outfield slot.

"He earned that. That's why we can't take anything away from that kid," Guillen said. "But it was a very sad day. This kid was playing great, having fun, playing a great outfield.

"Hopefully it's less than [a month]. Hopefully he's cured before we leave camp and we'll see what happens."

Milledge earned praise from Guillen on Thursday in regard to stepping up his game in this outfield competition. And Lillibridge, who has predominantly played at second base and shortstop during Cactus League action, will get a look in the outfield to further analyze his utility value.

As for Viciedo, he arrived in good physical condition and had been the talk of camp along with Jake Peavy's amazing comeback. Now, Viciedo's 22nd birthday, celebrated Thursday, will be remembered for the wrong reason.

"Unfortunately that happened to him today," Guillen said. "Like I say, hopefully he will be ready before this Spring Training is over to get a shot. He's done everything we have asked him to do."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Being Ozzie Guillen, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.