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09/22/08 1:18 PM ET

Injured hand keeps Bruce out of lineup

X-rays negative; Reds rookie available for defense vs. Marlins

CINCINNATI -- The back of his right hand still smarting from absorbing a CC Sabathia fastball, Reds right fielder Jay Bruce was missing again from the lineup Monday.

Bruce was hit by the pitch on Saturday vs. the Brewers and exited the game. Although X-rays were negative, he did not play at all on Sunday and has yet to pick up a bat.

"I'm just icing and treating it right now and trying to get it as better as I can," Bruce said. "I want to try to get back in there by sometime in Houston."

The Reds begin a road trip on Tuesday vs. the Astros at Minute Maid Park.

Bruce was not considered available to pinch-hit during Monday's makeup game against the Marlins.

"He's available for defense," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "I can't imagine it's a whole lot better today."

Like he did on Sunday, Jerry Hairston Jr. started in right field again for Bruce.

Bruce is batting .260 with 21 home runs and 52 RBIs this season. He was batting .292 (19-for-65) with seven homers and 12 RBIs over his last 19 games.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.