NEW YORK (AP) – On the day Carlos Beltran returned to the lineup, the New York Mets got another bad break.

The Mets learned that catcher Mike Piazza will miss at least a few games because of a broken bone in his hand. The injury, a hairline fracture of the pisiform bone, happened when Piazza was hit by a foul tip during Tuesday night’s 6-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Piazza caught one more inning before leaving because of the pain. He went to the hospital Wednesday, where X-rays revealed the injury.

“It’s definitely swollen,” Piazza said. “This morning I woke up and it was really a lot more swollen and just really stiff. Hopefully the swelling goes down in a few days and we’ll just take it from there.”

The Mets hope Piazza can return after the swelling is reduced, but general manager Omar Minaya acknowledged a roster move could be necessary so the Mets aren’t left with Ramon Castro as the only available catcher.

“As of right now, it’s a couple of days, but there is no specifics,” Minaya said. “We know it’s swollen and we’re going to have to wait until the inflammation goes down. But we’ve been told a couple of days.”

The news about Piazza’s injury took some of the excitement from Beltran’s return. Just six days after his frightening head-to-head collision with teammate Mike Cameron in the outfield, Beltran batted third as the starting center fielder.

On Tuesday, Beltran opted against surgery to repair a minimally displaced facial fracture he sustained in the collision. He then worked out at the stadium and felt he was ready to return.

“We are in a very good position, still fighting to accomplish our goals,” Beltran said. “I feel like right now we have the opportunity and I just want to be part of it.”

Minaya said that Cameron had been released from a San Diego hospital where he had surgery and was on his way back east.

AP-ES-08-17-05 1823EDT

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.