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Larkin Injured Making Catch

Barry Larkin dislocated the pinkie finger on his right hand while making a tumbling catch Wednesday, the latest twist to his topsy-turvy week.

The Cincinnati Reds captain popped the finger back into place himself, Dr. Timothy Kremchek said. X-rays found no fracture and the Reds said Larkin might be able to play as soon as Friday.

The shortstop ran into second baseman Pokey Reese as they went for Mitch Meluskey's soft fly to shallow center field in the fourth inning of a game against Houston.

Larkin held onto the ball as he fell awkwardly to the artificial turf. He got up and tossed the ball to center fielder Ken Griffey Jr., who made a relay to complete a double play at second base.

Larkin didn't acknowledge an ovation from the crowd, an indication he was hurt. Instead, he stood and looked at his right hand for a few moments and then walked off the field slowly accompanied by a trainer, holding the hand carefully at his side.

He headed for the clubhouse and was replaced in the field the next half-inning by Juan Castro.

The last nine days have been an emotional strain for Larkin. The club told him during a road trip last week that it wouldn't meet his request for a $27.9 million, three-year contract, then arranged a trade to the New York Mets.

Larkin blocked the trade on then was stunned when the Reds offered him a $27 million, three-year extension on Sunday. He got one standing ovation after another during the weekend from fans urging him to stay.

It's the second time this season that Larkin left a game because of a hand injury. He tore tissue at the base of the middle finger on his left hand while diving for a ground ball on April 21, requiring surgery. He was out until mid-May.

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