Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/17/12
Mlb-astros-pirates

Neil Walker got good news when he visited a hand specialist Thursday morning.

The Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman will not need to go on the disabled list after suffering a dislocated right pinkie finger in Wednesday night's loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. X-rays showed no other damage.

Walker is being listed as "day-to-day" by the Pirates. While there is no timetable for his return, it seems likely he could be ready as soon as Monday night in San Diego if not sometime during a three-game weekend series against the Cardinals at St. Louis that begins Friday night.

"When I can go, I'll go, but I'm optimistic that I'll be back sooner rather than later," Walker said Thursday after the Pirates' 10-6 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. "The swelling is down and it's feeling better."

The switch-hitting Walker is having the best season of his four-year career. He's batting .290 with 14 home runs and 67 RBI in 114 games.

Rookie shortstop Jordy Mercer got his first career start at second base in place of Walker and went 1-for-5 with two runs scored. Infielders Josh Harrison and Yamaico Navarro, who was recalled from Class AAA Indianapolis, also could get some starts at second while Walker is out.

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