PITTSBURGH -- Brandon Inge couldn't be sure whether it made him misguided or a martyr -- but playing nearly a week in Spring Training with a broken right shoulder blade made him a Pirate, and validated his reputation as a gamer.
Inge, in town only to participate in Opening Day festivities at PNC Park before going on to Triple-A Indianapolis, confirmed that X-rays of the area where he had been hit by a March 14 pitch revealed a fracture "in a spot none of the medical people had ever seen before."
Still, the non-roster invitee to big league camp returned to action to play a couple more games before being shut down, presumably by duly impressed Pirates management.
"Yeah, they knew," Inge said in response to whether manager Clint Hurdle and staff were aware of his condition. "But it was a case of me wanting to give them a look of what I could do."
In retrospect, that helps explains general manager Neal Huntington's remark on March 24 that Inge "is as tough a guy as we have in camp."
"It feels fine now," Inge said Monday. "Woke up a couple of days ago, no pain. So it's healing quick. I hope to return here soon."
Inge, on the 15-day disabled list, will join Indianapolis on a rehab assignment.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.