DENVER -- Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez left Tuesday night's 4-2 loss to the D-backs with the same swelling problem in his left index finger, and the same answers -- none.
The possible answer is a stint on the 15-day disabled list, which manager Walt Weiss said is a possibility since the swelling from a broken blood vessel has forced Gonzalez to leave three games and miss four starts. But Gonzalez visited with noted hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham in Cleveland on Thursday and learned not only was there no surgical answer, but it's not even clear how much rest will allow the injury to repair.
"They've said [rest] might not help," Gonzalez said, who felt pain from the first pitch in his first at-bat. "I really don't know what to do right now at this point. It's just really hard. It's even harder for me to come out of the game over and over again."
Gonzalez grounded out softly against D-backs starter Chase Anderson in the second inning and struck out meekly in the fourth before being replaced by Corey Dickerson for the top of the fifth. With a .255 batting average, a chronic finger problem to go with chronic left knee tendinitis, Gonzalez is a two-time All-Star whose health is making him a liability.
Weiss said the Rockies have to make a decision soon.
"We'll check in with him [Wednesday]," Weiss said. "We're at a point now that we'll have to make a decision to see what's best for him and our club.
"It's bugging him whether he makes contact or misses. I think it's worse when he makes contact."
The injury became an issue on May 1, when Gonzalez felt swelling and pain after fouling off a pitch during an at-bat that finished with a home run off Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon. He missed one start. Gonzalez was slumping before the injury and dealing with the tendinitis that first showed up last season.
Gonzalez aggravated the injury on May 21 against the Giants and missed three games. To add to the injury list, Gonzalez fouled a pitch off his right calf May 27 at Philadelphia and was limited to one pinch-hit appearance in the next game. He homered in the following game, but went 0-for-10 before leaving Monday's game.
It's the second straight year of pain and frustration because of a finger injury. Last July 7, Gonzalez sustained a torn ligament in his right middle finger while taking a swing in Arizona. At the time of the injury he was hitting .304 and leading the National League with 24 home runs. From July 10 to season's end, he appeared in just 24 games, including 16 starts, and batted .291 with two homers and seven RBIs.