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Upton fine after ricocheted ball hits head

Upton fine after ricocheted ball hits head

Upton fine after ricocheted ball hits head play video for Upton fine after ricocheted ball hits head
PHOENIX -- D-backs outfielder Justin Upton said his head feels like a target right now, and for good reason.

Two days after he was hit in the helmet with a Tim Lincecum fastball, Upton was nailed in the head again, this time on a carom off the wall in right field in the 10th inning of Tuesday night's 7-6 win against the Dodgers.

He was removed from the game, but simply as a precaution, as both he and manager Kirk Gibson said he felt fine afterward. Upton called leaving the game "the smart thing to do."

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"I just yanked him because it hit him in the head and I said, 'Let's just get him out of there,'" Gibson said. "I knew what happened the other day. I think he's fine. At least it didn't bounce off his head and go over the fence."

Upton was back in the starting lineup Tuesday, going 1-for-4, after he was off Monday. He was initially in Monday's lineup, but following batting practice, he was taken out of it.

He took an ImPACT neurological test Monday afternoon to determine if there were any lingering effects, and Gibson said prior to batting practice if Upton passed the test, he would play. Following the game, Gibson declined to say whether Upton had passed the ImPACT test.

"I'm fine," Upton said before Tuesday's game. "The main thing is I'm in the lineup."

The D-backs can ill-afford to lose their best hitter with the start of the National League Division Series days away.

Gibson was asked Tuesday if he was concerned about the beaning being serious when he held him out of the lineup Monday.

"I didn't think it was at all," Gibson said. "You just think situations out and I can't sit here and go through my mind in any given situation and all the different people that are involved in making decisions. But I think things out pretty thoroughly and take advice of people and try and do the right thing. Do I want Justin Upton in our lineup? Every day. The reality of it is I've pushed him hard and he wasn't going to be in there [Monday]. It was the right thing to do."

D-backs team physician Michael Lee said after Sunday's game that Upton passed the neurological tests that were administered and that Upton had also gone through a CT scan, which did not show any problems.

Upton took the ImPACT neurological test Monday afternoon to determine if there are any lingering effects. Each player undergoes the test during Spring Training to form a baseline result that can be compared to in cases like this.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @dbackswriter. AJ Cassavell is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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