DENVER -- The mystery surrounding the inflammation in Carlos Gonzalez's left index finger began to unravel when the outfielder visited hand specialist Thomas Graham during the team's visit to Cleveland in late May.
Now that same doctor will hopefully be lifting the veil entirely, as the Rockies have announced that Gonzalez is set to undergo exploratory surgery in Cleveland on Tuesday.
Graham first suggested the presence of "foreign bodies" in Gonzalez's finger during an examination on May 29. Among the common possibilities for such bodies in this instance are a splinter or fingernail surrounded by a soft tissue mass.
But an ensuing ultrasound and MRI couldn't identify any object in the finger. For that reason the Rockies elected not to immediately go the surgery route out of fear of unnecessarily increasing his recovery time.
Gonzalez proceeded to play through the ailment for four games before a swing caused the inflammation to flare up in the first inning of last Tuesday's 4-2 loss to the D-backs. By the time the fifth inning ended, he was unable to fit his left hand in his batting glove and was forced to leave the game.
The following day the Rockies officially placed him on the 15-day disabled list.
Gonzalez was noticeably absent from the clubhouse on Monday before the team made the official announcement.
Gonzalez did some throwing on Sunday but had yet to grip a bat since being placed on the DL, with the Rockies unclear as to how much rest he'd need. They are hoping that Tuesday's surgery leads to them having a concrete timetable for the first time since the injury forced Gonzalez to leave the Rockies' 5-1 loss to the Giants on May 21.
Gonzalez, who has also been battling chronic tendinitis in his left knee dating back to last season, was batting .255 with eight home runs and 31 RBIs in 52 games this season before being placed on the DL.
Cody Ulm is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.