Young rejoins Rangers' lineup, plans to play through hairline fracture

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers' shortstop Michael Young was back in the lineup Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Rays despite a hairline fracture in his left ring finger.

The four-time All-Star, who missed Friday night's game against the Rays after sustaining the injury in a weight-lifting accident, has a league-high 21-game hitting streak. He said he knows he can play with the injury because he's done so before.

"I broke a finger on the other hand in my rookie year," said Young, who's had five straight 200-hit seasons. "I played with that and it was fine."

The latest injury occurred when his finger "smashed" something while he was lifting weights following a game Thursday night.

"I took about a round of batting practice [on Friday]," he said. "I took an X-ray right away. I saw the [fracture] line in there. They said it would be 20 days before it heals. I told them the disabled list wasn't an option for me. I know there's going to be a bit of pain involved."

Young missed only 19 games in his first six full seasons in the majors. Friday night marked the third game he has missed in 2008.

"During anybody's career or season you have something you have to deal with mentally," Young said. "It's a matter of getting past it. It will bother me a little bit of both, offensively and defensively. I'm pretty sure I can get through it and still go out there and find a way to play well."

Rangers manager Ron Washington said he had "no concerns" about whether Young could be effective while playing with the injury.

"The doctor said as long as he can play up to the pain tolerance, he'll be fine," Washington said. "He won't be catching balls with his fingers but in the pocket [of the glove] with his palm. If anybody can pull it off, Mike would be the one."