The Yankees tough injury riddled season became even worse on Friday and it happened to a player who had returned only 8 games ago from a fractured forearm.

Curtis Granderson is expected to missed at least 4 weeks while he recovers from a fractured fifth metacarpal on his left hand when he was hit by a Cesar Ramos pitch Saturday night in the Yankees 9-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

"It's heartbreaking," Yankees pitcher David Phelps said. "He puts in all the hard work to get back, and now he's got to do it all over again. But he's proven to himself that he can do it, so there's no doubt he'll be back and be a big part of our lineup for the rest of the season."

Granderson doesn't yet know if he'll require surgery to repair his left hand, but he said that they'll know more about that and a timetable when they see a hand specialist in New York on Monday.

"As of right now they said no, but we're going to see the specialist on Monday and get a better understanding," Granderson said. "I know they were waiting for one more X-ray to get another view that hadn't popped up yet."

The easiest way the judge a likely timetable at this moment is to look back to last season when Alex Rodriguez suffered the same injury on July 24 against the Mariners, keeping him out for about 6 weeks.

"Curtis isn't an easy guy to replace because of the power," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "You just don't get that from everyone. We missed him the first seven or eight weeks of the season; now we're going to miss him for a while again."

One things for sure this will open up the outfield competition that had began with Granderson's return. The Yankees had four outfielders playing for three spots. Now we'll likely see the combo of Wells-Gardner-Ichiro once again.

"It is what it is. It kind of happened," Granderson said. "I can't change it right now; just got to move forward, continue to get back to work again. Another bump in the road, but that's it, just a bump. We'll heal up and come back and be back ready."

Phelps has a right arm contusion:

As if the Yankees didn't have enough injury troubles to worry about. David Phelps was in the midst of his longest career outing (7 2/3) when he was strike in the right forearm by a liner off the bat of Ben Zobrist.

Phelps was taken after the game for precautionary x-rays that showed only a bruise and the Yankees don't expect the talented young righty will miss his next start against the Mets.

Phelps slammed his glove to the field after he was hit, and was escorted off the field by Yankees manager Joe Girardi and the trainers.

"I was just mad. It's the first time I've ever been hit in the upper body," Phelps said. "It's one of those things that is frustrating because of what's been going on with our team with everyone getting hurt. I was like, 'I don't want to be the next guy.'"

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