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Marcell Ozuna to have surgery on injured thumb

     DENVER -- Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna is scheduled to undergo surgery on Friday to repair a ligament tear and avulsion fracture in his left thumb.

      Ozuna injured the thumb while making a diving catch Monday night at Coors Field. [Watch the play here] Following the game, the Marlins announced that Ozuna -- and infielder Derek Dietrich -- were being optioned to Double A Jacksonville.

      But after the exact nature of the injury was identified Thursday by a hand specialist in Miami, the option was voided and Ozuna was instead placed on the major league disabled list, retroactive to Monday.

       "I don't have a definitive time frame," said Larry Beinfest, Marlins president of baseball operations. "But it's highly doubtful and improbable that you'll see him again this season. It's a minimum six to eight weeks, and then you have to ramp up from there. So we're going to run out of time this season."

       Beinfest said the extent of the injury was unknown when the decision to option Ozuna was made after Monday's game.

        "It's surprising because, when we optioned him Monday night....he stayed in the game and said he was okay," Beinfest said. "It seemed like, 'I dived and I jammed my thumb a little bit.' Obviously, it's turned out to be a lot more than that, which is unfortunate."

        By going on the DL, Ozuna will continue to accrue service time to the point he could be in position to qualify for "Super Two" status and become eligible for salary arbitration after the 2015 season. Had Ozuna returned to the minors, it was all but certain his first arbitration year would have been delayed until after the '16 season.

     "Again, he's a couple of years away from that," Beinfest said of the arbitration process. "Like any young player, he's going to have to come out and make the team next year in spring training. Obviously we have some pretty spirited outfield competition."

      Ozuna becomes the 15th Marlins player to be placed on the DL this season.

      "He did a great job," Beinfest said. "Our intention was for him to go down and work on some things offensively, and sure enough, it's the way it goes. He makes, really, a game-saving catch and gets hurt."

      Beinfest said it's possible Ozuna could play winter ball just to make sure the thumb checks out in advance of spring training.


      Infielder Chris Valaika, who was designated for assignment by the Marlins, has cleared waivers and outrighted to Triple A New Orleans.