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Choo likely out six weeks after surgery

Shin-Soo Choo was walking around the Cleveland Indians clubhouse Saturday in San Francisco with a soft cast on his left hand that covered three stitches on his bloodied, broken thumb.

The only thing that might hurt worse is the hole in Cleveland's shattered lineup.

The Indians' prize right fielder will see a hand specialist at the Cleveland Clinic on Monday and expects to have surgery on his injured thumb, likely sidelining him for the next six weeks and possibly more.

Choo was placed on the 15-day disabled list and Travis Buck was called up from Triple-A Columbus.

Choo's thumb was smashed when it was hit by a pitch by erratic lefty Jonathan Sanchez in the fourth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Giants on Friday night. He fell face first to the dirt and remained there as a team trainer rushed out to check on him.

The South Korean native has been arguably Cleveland's best all-around player the last two years.

His almost identical numbers the last two season show how much of a consistent force he's been in the middle of the lineup: He batted .300 with 22 home runs and 90 RBIs last year, and he hit .300 with 20 homers and 86 RBIs in 2009.

Choo was off to a slow start this season — hitting .244 with five home runs — but was starting to find his groove for the Indians, clinging to first place in the AL Central. He had hit safely in 20 of his previous 26 games.

Phillies place Oswalt on DL — The Philadelphia Phillies placed right-hander Roy Oswalt on the 15-day disabled list with a back injury.

Reliever Scott Mathieson was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to replace Oswalt, who was sidelined with a back injury earlier this year.

Oswalt is 4-6 with a 3.79 ERA in 13 games. The three-time All-Star is 1-5 with a 4.06 ERA over his last eight starts.

Twins' Morneau to have neck surgery — Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau thought his sore left wrist would be taken care of with a short trip to the disabled list. His worrisome neck pain needed more immediate attention.

The Twins announced before Friday's game with Milwaukee that Morneau will have neck surgery Wednesday to remove a herniated disk fragment, keeping him out another six weeks.

Morneau was placed on the 15-day disabled list earlier this month with a strained left wrist that was put in a cast to try to stabilize it. That also gave him time to rest his neck, but Morneau still has dealt with weakness in the arm and numbness in his left hand.

"Last week of spring training is last time I could feel the pointer finger next to my thumb," Morneau said during a conference call Friday night. "I'd like that to go away. That's the plan for the surgery, hopefully that'll be the result, and I'll come out good and be ready for August and September."

After seeing a second neck specialist, the organization made the decision that surgery was the best option to help Morneau regain the form that led him to the 2006 AL MVP and two Silver Slugger awards.

Morneau is hitting .225 with four homers and 21 RBIs in 55 games, a year after missing the final 78 games of the season with a concussion.

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