Despite eight stitches in lip, Ibanez pinch-hits

Despite eight stitches in lip, Ibanez pinch-hits

Despite eight stitches in lip, Ibanez pinch-hits
ST. PETERSBURG -- Yankees outfielder Raul Ibanez made it to Tropicana Field in plenty of time for Monday night's series-opening 4-3 loss to the Rays, but he showed up sporting a busted lower lip with eight stitches.

Ibanez, who grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning, sustained the injury while trying to get out of the way of a foul ball in the ninth inning of New York's 4-2 win over the White Sox on Sunday. He was in the Yankees' dugout at the time and hit a steel bench, losing half of an upper tooth that wound up stuck inside his lower lip.

"I should've taken the ball to the face," Ibanez quipped. "Next time, I will."

On Sunday, Ibanez visited an oral surgeon to stitch up his lip, and that's where the tooth -- in three different pieces -- was discovered inside his lip.

Ibanez saw a neurologist on Monday to make sure he didn't have a concussion. He said it hurts to smile, but he feels all right otherwise. Ibanez didn't know exactly how long the stitches will stay in, just that they'll be there for "a while."