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04/12/06 1:35 AM ET

Kinsler suffers dislocated left thumb

Rookie second baseman likely headed to DL

ANAHEIM -- Rangers rookie second baseman Ian Kinsler is probably headed for the disabled list after dislocating his left thumb in a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Tuesday night.

Outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. is flying to Anaheim on Wednesday and is expected to be activated to replace Kinsler. Matthews has been on the DL with a strained rib cage muscle.

Kinsler injured the thumb sliding into second base on a steal attempt in the second inning and was immediately replaced by D'Angelo Jimenez. He was taken for X-rays, which showed the dislocation, but no fractures or initial signs of ligament damage.

"I knew it wasn't good when I looked down and I saw the top part of the thumb pointing in at me," Kinsler said after the Rangers' 5-4 loss.

Kinsler is expected to see a local hand specialist, Dr. Norman Zemel of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic, on Wednesday, but general manager Jon Daniels said he is "probably" going on the disabled list.

"We'll know more tomorrow," Daniels said.

Kinsler, who had a single in his first at-bat, is hitting .476 after nine games. The Rangers are hoping that Kinsler will be sidelined no more than 2-3 weeks.

"It's unfortunate, but things are going to happen over the course of the season," manager Buck Showalter said. "Everybody knows your depth is going to be tested. Hopefully Ian will get back and pick up right where he left off."

The Rangers met after Tuesday night's game to discuss possible moves. Both Jimenez and Mark DeRosa can play second base. DeRosa has been sidelined with a strained left ankle but the Rangers feel he can be ready to go by Friday.

"I feel bad for Ian," shortstop Michael Young said. "He was off to a great start and is a huge part of our team. Hopefully he can get back on the field again soon."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.