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Gerut might not play again this season

Gerut might not play again in '08

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DENVER -- At this point, Padres center fielder Jody Gerut has completely abandoned any hopes that the sprained middle finger on his left hand will heal anytime soon.

"We're not looking for 100 percent," Gerut said. "We're looking for good enough. We're working against time. I can't say it's good enough at this point."

Gerut hasn't had an at-bat since Aug. 27, when he sprained the finger attempting to swipe second base against the Diamondbacks.

All told, Gerut has missed the last 19 games, though he has appeared as a pinch-runner in two games.

With nine games left in the regular season, there's a chance Gerut might not play again, though he's not willing to think about that right now as he's trying to get back into the lineup to improve on his statistics, .297 average, 14 home runs and 43 RBIs over 327 at-bats.

Gerut undergoes a daily routine of treatment on the finger that include range-of-motion exercises and soft-tissue treatment. Occasionally, he'll have the finger heavily taped to try to take batting practice.

But each time, the finger hasn't responded well, which has Gerut beyond baffled at this point.

"I've messed up fingers plenty before, but not realizing that this is an important one," he said. "You can play football, you could probably play basketball. But in a precision game like baseball, you've got to have your digits."

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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