Carlos Gonzalez, the Rockies' all-star outfielder, had a tumor removed from his left index finger Tuesday, the team's head athletic trainer Keith Dugger said.

Gonzalez underwent exploratory surgery with a specialist in Cleveland, and a growth was found beneath the sheath around the muscle.

"We're still not sure (what it is)," Dugger said. "But it's a type of tumor within the sheath of the finger. There's a hard substance underneath it. We're going to do a biopsy on it."

"They are common," Dugger added. "These little benign tumors — which we hope it is — are probably the second-most-common finding in a finger besides cysts."

Dugger said the growth could be one of several problems.

"The doctor is tending to head toward maybe what we call a neuroma, kind of a scarring around a nerve — a big bundle around there, a wad of some sort," he said.

"Also there was a vascular component. So there's a possibility he had a vessel that popped from the original swelling that he had, and maybe it calcified up and hardened. We won't know until the biopsy."

Gonzalez, who had his arm in a sling to stabilize his hand, will return to Denver on Wednesday. The surgeon, Dr. Thomas Graham at the Cleveland Clinic, opened up his finger across the open hand.

"Typically it'll take a couple weeks just for the tissue to heal. And then he can get back his strength and start swinging."

Gonzalez' timetable for returning likely won't change, even though the surgery was more invasive than doctors had planned, Dugger said, because they may have saved time by removing the growth right as they found it.

Butler OK. Rookie Eddie Butler's MRI on his sore right pitching shoulder was clean.

"We're treating him for a slight strain that probably caused some inflammation or irritation to the shoulder," Dugger said.

Butler will not throw for at least five days, Dugger said, and will likely need a rehab assignment.

Cuddyer update. Rockies veteran outfielder Michael Cuddyer, who suffered a fracture of the glenoid fossa bone in his left shoulder socket, was in a sling Tuesday in the Rockies clubhouse. Dugger said Cuddyer will avoid surgery but will be in a sling for at least six weeks.

Cuddyer's injury is not common in baseball, Dugger said.

"I've been in baseball for 27 years professionally. I've seen two — one from a motorcycle crash and one from a freak diving accident," Dugger said. "I've talked to a few of my counterparts, and they've never seen one in baseball. Now, if you're in X Games or possibly football, you see these types of things."

No. 1 pick signs deal. Kyle Freeland, the Rockies' top draft choice, signed a contract Tuesday and will report to the Grand Junction Rockies (rookie league).