Niemann rejoins Rays, close to activation

Niemann rejoins Rays, close to activation

ARLINGTON -- Right-hander Jeff Niemann joined the Rays in Arlington on Monday.

Niemann, who has been on the disabled list since May 15 after fracturing his right fibula, will not be activated until the Rays expand their roster Saturday.

Niemann's injury occurred when he took a batted ball off his right leg during a game in Toronto. If that wasn't bad enough luck, he again got hit by a batted ball while making his fourth rehab start pitching for Triple-A Durham on Saturday.

"I was definitely scared," said Niemann, explaining that the ball hit him on his right hand then ricocheted to hit him on his left forearm.

Niemann left the game and X-rays were negative. While heading to get his hand X-rayed, some bad thoughts were rattling around in his head.

"[I'm thinking] here we are again," Niemann said. "Here I am again, sitting in a car leaving the stadium, going to a hospital. And it was throbbing. It was the exact same thing [as in Toronto] and it was almost too surreal. ... Luckily everything turned out good. I was doing the same thing I was doing in Toronto, telling myself everything was fine. This time it paid off."