WASHINGTON -- Once Josh Thole can grab a bat and fit his left hand into a glove, he'll be fine. But that's not expected to happen for a couple of days, which is when the Mets hope the swelling has subsided enough to allow Thole to play again.
"There's no break in it, no damage," Thole said. "It's just hard to squeeze. Once I get all that out of there, I'll be fine."
Thole suffered the bruised hand Thursday in the second inning on a cross-up with starter Miguel Batista. Thole called for a slider and instead got a fastball, which clanged off the base of his left hand. He visited a hand specialist Friday and rejoined the Mets at Nationals Park.
Mike Nickeas started Friday night's series opener against the Nationals and Terry Collins said he expects to use Ronny Paulino -- who is nursing a broken toe himself -- in Saturday night's game. The emergency catcher is Nick Evans, and Collins said he might need to add a catcher if Thole's hand is slow to heal.
"If it's going to be four or five days, we may have to go get another guy," Collins said.