Thanks Transmission, you've said almost everything we need to know about Soriano's ouchie tonight (this link includes video of the injury). So I'll keep it to just a few more questions and answers and a picture.
Yes, it's broken...and yes, it's fractured. Yes, there's only minimal displacement (which means the bone doesn't need to be set or reduced by manipulation or surgery).
What can't he do? It's not his (right) throwing hand so it only afftects his glove hand for catching (which isn't his strong suit anyway) and his gripping of the bat (which is his strong suit).
Metacarpal fractures (that don't need surgery to realign the bone) heal by forming callus, which is new bone that the cells create from tissue that lines the normal bone called the periosteum. When a fracture occurs, the cells in the periosteum eventually produce new bone formation surrounding the fracture site that is called fracture callous. The earliest signs of fracture callous show up on an X-Ray at 2-3 weeks but the callous isn't solid until around 4-6 weeks. When the fracture callous is well formed, the bone at the fracture site is usually stable although the bone will continue to remodel for months.
The pain should subside in a week or two but until some callous is seen on his X-Ray and at the same time his docs find no tenderness at the fracture site, I doubt they will let him swing a bat. So 4 weeks to recovery is possible and 6 weeks is generously realistic. Fortunately the 5th week is the All-Star break, so I do believe there is a good chance he's back by July 18th in Houston (right after the ASB), unless he needs a rehab stint. I also wonder if he will have any lingering effects to his power and how long will it take to get the rust off his swing?
So to answer that I found a decent comparison. Chase Utley was hit by a pitch which fractured his right 4th metacarpal (which is his throwing hand) last July 26th. This mlb.com article predicted 4-6 weeks on the DL and even hinted at season ending possibilities. Utley did a 3 day rehab stint in the minors and returned to the Phils lineup on August 27th, virtually a month after his injury. His return included a 3-5 game with a HR and a double.
So are we broken? That's the question for our TCR readers to sort out.
I'll leave everone with a picture and no, it's not Soriano's but it's definitely a broken 4th metacarpal.