Hawpe hopes to return to lineup Friday

Hawpe hopes to return to lineup Friday

DENVER -- The diagnosis of the injury Rockies right fielder Brad Hawpe suffered when hit with a thrown ball Monday night turned out less serious than feared -- a contusion on the back of his neck. He was examined for a possible concussion.

Not only will Hawpe not go on the 15-day disabled list, which would almost certainly have happened had he suffered a concussion, but he was in uniform for Tuesday night's game against the Padres and said he hoped to return to the lineup for Friday's opener of a three-game series with the Giants at AT&T Park.

"I just have to wait and see what the trainers say, but I feel a lot better than I did last night," Hawpe said Tuesday.

Hawpe was hit in the neck by a pickoff throw from Padres catcher Nick Hundley while returning to second base during the sixth inning of the Rockies' 12-7 victory on Monday night.

Hawpe said he never saw the throw. He felt numbness in his arms, back and down to his waist for "probably 30 seconds ... it was a long time there at second base." Hawpe said he was dazed and didn't realize where he was hit or what hit him.

Hawpe was on the field for about five minutes, then was placed in a neck brace as players and fans watched in stunned silence. Hawpe received an ovation when he stood and walked to a cart before he was driven off the field.

Hawpe was safe on the play -- he landed on the base before the ump called an injury timeout -- and was replaced in the game by pinch-runner Jason Marquis.

After leaving the field, Hawpe was taken to Rose Medical Center in Denver. A CT scan of his head and neck was negative. He was released from the hospital Monday night, and his wife, Kim, who was watching the game from home, was able to take him home.

Hawpe chuckled about his odd luck with pickoff plays at second. Early in Spring Training, he suffered a lacerated left pinkie finger and had to miss the World Baseball Classic when he was spiked while diving back to the bag.

"I was thinking about that when I went back last night, that I'm going back feet-first," Hawpe said. "It's kind of crazy."

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