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Jack Wilson


Wilson left Monday's game before the seventh inning with a bruised right hand. He was hit by a pitch in the third, and said after the game he expected to play Tuesday.


Wilson did not play for the Pirates in their 6-0 win over the Chicago Cubs on Friday due to a sore calf. The shortstop is not expected to play in Saturday's contest, but may return Sunday.


Wilson, who hasn't started since May 6 because of a hamstring strain, is hopeful he can return Wednesday or Thursday against the Cincinnati Reds. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is reporting that the Pirates' shortstop tested the hamstring before Tuesday's 9-3 win over the Reds by running the bases and fielding grounders.


Wilson and the Pittsburgh Pirates came to terms Tuesday on a three-year, $20 million contract extension. The Pirates' shortstop was heading into the second year of a two-year, $8 million deal this spring. In 2005, the 28-year-old Wilson batted .257 with a .299 on-base percentage and 52 RBIs in 158 games.


As expected, Wilson wasn't in the Pittsburgh starting lineup Tuesday, after sitting out Monday's contest with stiffness in his lower back. The Pirates' shortstop did make a pinch-hitting appearance, however, and then finished the final three innings at short. He collected two hits in his two plate appearances.


Bothered by stiffness in his lower back, Wilson didn't play in Pittsburgh's loss to St. Louis on Monday. The Pirates' shortstop is expected to be sidelined on Tuesday as well. The injury isn't serious and Wilson should miss only a couple of days.


After batting a career-best .308 in 2004, Wilson has been mired in a slump for the majority of the 2005 campaign. However, the Pirates' shortstop has shown signs of life recently. He went a perfect 4-for-4 with a double, triple and two runs scored in Wednesday's win over the Florida Marlins, extending his current hitting streak to six games. Over that span, Wilson has gone 13-for-26 (.500) with four doubles and just one strikeout.


Wilson has been dropped from the No. 2 to the No. 7 slot in Pittsburgh's batting order. Wilson, who is batting just .134 on the season, is hitless in his last 23 at-bats.


Wilson tested out his bruised left hand in batting practice prior to Thursday's game against the San Diego Padres and decided it was too sore for him to play. The shortstop, who was hit by a pitch late in Wednesday's loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, was replaced in the Pirates' lineup by Freddy Sanchez.

Wilson's injury is not serious, and he hopes to be back in action this weekend. He had a career year in 2004, batting .308 with 11 home runs, 59 RBI and eight stolen bases in 157 games.