(GOODYEAR, Ariz.) – Jason Giambi will miss the next 3-to-4 weeks with a non-displaced rib fracture on his right side.

The injury occurred on Friday, March 7, in Mesa, Ariz. when the Indians played the Chicago Cubs in a Cactus League exhibition game. Giambi was hit by a pitch thrown by Cubs right-hander Edwin Jackson in the third inning.

Due to the discomfort the injury caused, Giambi went for an X-ray that did not reveal any issues; however, over the last five days discomfort increased which prompted the Indians to conduct an MRI which revealed the non-displaced rib fracture.

The Indians announced that Giambi will return to hitting progression when he is asymptomatic. Giambi is expected to miss the next 3-to-4 weeks which could open up an opportunity for other bench player candidates in camp. The injury could create a chain-reaction which would give player’s like Eliot Johnson, Nyjer Morgan, Jeff Francoeur or Matt Treanor a better opportunity to start the season with the big league club on March 31 in Oakland.

Giambi, 43, is the oldest active player in Major League Baseball.

While manager Terry Francona would not say whether he thinks this will impact whether Giambi starts the season with the Tribe, he did mention that March 31 is not the most important date of the season and seems to be an artificial deadline.

- Nick Camino