Hiroki Kuroda exits in 2nd inning

NEW YORK -- Another day, another injury for the New York Yankees.

Hiroki Kuroda, the team's No. 2 starter, was forced to leave Wednesday night's 7-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox after his right throwing hand was grazed by a Shane Victorino leadoff line single in the second inning.

The Yankees later announced that Kuroda left with a contusion of his right middle finger. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said X-rays were negative.

"He is OK, just a bruised middle finger," Girardi said.

Girardi said it's too early to tell if Kuroda will make his next start. The right-hander is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Friday. If he gets through that fine, he'll be set to go in Cleveland on Monday.

"It is tough to tell," Kuroda said through a translator when asked about making his next start. "But, for me, I'm going to try [my hardest] to get ready."

Kuroda first ducked to avoid the shot up the middle, but then chose to put his right hand up and the ball connected with his hand. Yankees manager Joe Girardi and team trainer Steve Donohue checked on Kuroda.

After a few practice pitches, they deemed him good enough to stay in the game. Kuroda, known for his precision, was suddenly wild. He hit Jackie Bradley Jr. After a groundout, he walked Jacoby Ellsbury to load the bases before hitting Daniel Nava to force in a run. Girardi then replaced Kuroda with Cody Eppley, who forced Dustin Pedroia to hit into a double play with the bases loaded.

"I wasn't able to put my strength on the ball," Kuroda said.

The Yankees' pitching staff already began the season without Phil Hughes. Doctors diagnosed Hughes with a bulging disk during spring training. Hughes is scheduled to start a Triple-A rehab game in Scranton on Saturday. If it goes well, he will return to the majors to start on April 11 in Cleveland.

With David Phelps and Ivan Nova in the rotation, the only other potential starter the Yankees have on the roster is Adam Warren. At Triple-A, the Yankees have rookie Vidal Nuno and veteran Chien-Ming Wang as possibilities.

The Yankees' lineup is missing Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez because of various injuries. Teixeria (wrist) and Granderson (forearm) could return in May. Jeter's timetable is undetermined as he continues to recover from offseason ankle surgery. Rodriguez, coming off hip surgery, won't be back until after the All-Star break at the earliest.