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But Pujols felt — and looked — far better Thursday than he did Wednesday night, when he was hit by a high-and-tight Drew Hutchinson fastball in the fourth inning and removed from the game in the fifth. A CT scan showed no broken bones, and Pujols remained hopeful of playing Friday night in Boston.
"Definitely," Pujols said, when asked if he thought his injury was going to be more serious. "My hand swelled up twice as much yesterday. I couldn't feel my fingers. That's the reason I came out of the game. I couldn't grip the bat. … I was in a lot of pain last night, but I'm fine right now."
Tests performed by the team's medical staff showed that Pujols had regained the strength in his hand, but his inability to grip a bat made the decision to rest him Thursday an easy one.