Niemann, who suffered a small fracture of his right fibula after taking a ball in the leg from Adam Lind on Monday, managed to stay in the game and finish off the first inning before leaving prior to the bottom of the second frame. Despite looking upset, Niemann was able to joke around about the injury.
"There is a lot of adrenaline going on, a lot of endorphins," Niemann said. "We tried to go, but definitely felt it. We got one out on it, so that's something we can take away from it."
There is currently no timetable for his return, but he is expected to be out four to six weeks. Nothing will become official until Niemann heads back to Tampa and gets re-examined, and even then, he knows he just has to be patient.
"I don't know being as large as he is, it might add something to it, I'm not 100 percent sure," Rays manager Joe Maddon said about his 6-foot-9 right-hander. "I thought it hit shoe, walk off, maybe sting a little bit. That's what I saw ... He had a grimace on his face. I really thought it hit him in the shoe, that's a really big shoe to hit. Hard to miss the shoe."
Maddon expects Niemann would probably need closer to six weeks than four, but admits it's just an educated guess.
Niemann is still trying to come to grips with the injury and was initially optimistic that it wouldn't be too severe, but knew when he felt a pain shoot up his leg on the way to the hospital that it was bad.
"It's a tough break, it hasn't really quite hit yet," Niemann said. "One of those things, you're out there playing, things happen quick, next thing you know I'm at the hospital getting X-rays. It is what it is.
"It didn't really go away. Usually when you get hit, it's going to hurt for a while and then it goes away. This one kind of stayed, if anything, got worse ... The range of motion decreased the longer after it happened."
The frustrating part, Niemann said, is that he couldn't have avoided it. Making matters worse, there were no crutches his size, so last night he was using undersized ones, before the team was able to get a pair from the Toronto Raptors.
Niemann expects to find ways to stay in shape and mentioned that he might have to throw off a chair to keep his arm ready.
"Trying to stay positive, hope for the best and see the doctors when we get back to Tampa. It's kind of one of those freak things that happen," Niemann said.