OAKLAND — Pitcher Tommy John of the New York Yankees suffered a thumb injury Wednesday, and it may have ended his pitching career a few weeks early, the club said.
The left-hander was hurt in a fall about 45 minutes before Wednesday's game with the Oakland A's. He slipped while throwing in the bullpen, and his left thumb was bent back as he hit the ground.
"Our trainer, Gene Monahan, doesn't feel he'll pitch the rest of the year," Manager Lou Piniella said.
The extent of the injury was not immediately determined, however. John flew to Los Angeles, where he'll be examined by a doctor who specializes in hand problems.
John, 43, has announced that this will be his last season. He has accepted a coaching job for next year at the University of North Carolina.
John has a 5-3 record and a 2.93 earned-run average this season, and his career record is 264-210 over 23 seasons.