"Just a bad day yesterday, coming from back-to-back games," Gonzalez said before Tuesday's game against the Dodgers. "It was something we all were expecting, too. It's not going to heal in a month, it's going to take longer than that, but I'm activated today. Just hopefully I start to feel a little better, and we're going to have to deal with that until the season's over."
Rockies manger Walt Weiss said he hasn't made a final decision on whether to shut down Gonzalez for the remainder of the season to let the finger heal. But Gonzalez is committed to at least trying to play when he feels up to it.
Head athletic trainer Keith Dugger said Gonzalez would not pick up a bat Tuesday and added the situation is very similar to what it was earlier this year, when Gonzalez sat out games as necessary to rest the finger.
"I'm trying to avoid being shut down," Gonzalez said. "We're just going to give it a rest today, see how I feel tomorrow, see how I feel the next couple days and just go out there and play."
Weiss and Dugger said Gonzalez, a true five-tool player, can be used as a defensive replacement or a pinch-runner. Gonzalez has recorded 11 outfield assists, tied for third most in the Majors despite his extended absence, and he also has 21 stolen bases.
"I think we'll pick our spots on days he's feeling good, but I expect that thing to flare up from time to time," Weiss said. "I'll deal with it accordingly, but he's available to maybe better our defense or pinch-run when he's not able to swing the bat."
To lessen the pressure on the ligament in his injured finger, Gonzalez said he will adjust his grip so his middle finger isn't around the knob at the end of the bat.
While a finger injury may strike some as a minor inconvenience, Weiss explained how big of an impact it can have on a player's game.
"It's such a game of feel that even a small injury to a finger or a hand prevents you from playing this sport as opposed to many of the other spots," Weiss said. "If you got a finger that hurts, you can't throw or you can't swing the bat, you can't play the game."