LOS ANGELES -- Andre Ethier's special splint on his fractured right little finger looks more like a regular bandage than a splint, and it's allowed him to work on his hitting while he heals.
The splint, which prevents his top-most knuckle from bending but does not restrict his hand from opening and closing or from making a fist, has allowed Ethier to hit in the cage the past four days.
"It's Band-Aid material with two strips of plastic that run on top and bottom of the finger, it allows for a little more compact splint rather than the traditional big metal or foam," said Ethier, who's been on the disabled list since May 15. "I've been able to swing with it, just in the cage, tee work, some soft toss ... Something the way the splint's developed, it distributes pressure throughout the whole finger rather than at the tip."
Ethier, who led the National League in the Triple Crown categories when he went down, said squeezing isn't painful, but opening the hand can stress a tendon on the top of the finger.
"It's not as painful as I thought it would be," Ethier said. "I don't feel it with every swing ... I don't know, we'll see. Did I think I'd be swinging a week later? No. We'll see how it progresses next week."