MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs expect top outfield prospect Albert Almora to make a full recovery from the broken hamate bone in his left hand he suffered in a minor-league spring game Thursday, even as they prepare for him to miss about a third of the season.
Almora was scheduled to fly to Chicago to have minor surgery in the next few days to remove the broken hook of the hamate. He's expected to be sidelined three to four weeks before being allowed to resume baseball activity and remain in the disabled list until late May.
"Obviously, it's not a career problem, more of a pain-in-the-butt type thing that happens to quite a few hitters over the history of the game,'' manager Dale Sveum said. "It's just that little bone that doesn't mean anything or you don't need.
"It'll cost him eight weeks before he gets in a game. The good thing is it's one of those things you take out and are done with it. ...It's a nice injury to be done with."
The injury is often caused by contact with the knob of the bat on swings. Baltimore's Nick Markakis and San Francisco's Pablo Sandoval are among the major league palyers who have suffered the injury in recent years.
"He just took a swing on two strikes, and I guess something happened," said Class A teammate Dan Vogelbach, who was nearby when Almora was hurt. "It was just a swing. He just fouled it back. ... A couple guys [in the Cubs' system] got it last year.
"It's just unlucky. It just happened to happen to him. But he'll come back better than ever. He'll be ready. He's a good guy. He works hard, and he's a great teammate."