"I think you deal with the disappointment more than you deal with the pain," he said.
Headley saw a hand specialist Monday in San Diego, where it was determined that he had a fractured tip to his thumb, which will cause him to miss at least the first two weeks of the regular season.
"They gave me a canned answer of four to six weeks with a broken bone. But we're going to do everything we can to speed that up," Headley said of his recovery.
But, as Headley said, it could have been much worse.
"When it happened, I felt there was a pretty good chance there was something significantly wrong with it," Headley said. "But for there to be a significant injury to the thumb, this is probably the best one to have. It's in place and above all the ligament and tendons attached.
"It still stinks, but it is part of the game."
For now, Headley said the team will likely take frequent X-rays of the thumb to see how it's healing. But, as he said Tuesday, "there's not a lot you can do for a broken bone."
In the meantime, the Padres will push ahead without their Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Award winner from a year ago, likely turning to infielder Logan Forsythe, who could play this week after dealing with plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
As for Headley, he'll try to stay involved as much as possible and keep himself in shape for a return that he hopes comes sooner rather than later.
"Being on the DL is not fun for anybody. Obviously, it's not the way I hoped to start the season," Headley said. "But I've been fortunate in my career to healthy, for the most part. So I'm going to be as positive as I can. I'll stay in shape so that when I'm able to resume baseball stuff, I will."