A plastic thumb protector kept Shin-Soo Choo off the disabled list Monday night.

An inside pitch from Chris Sale hit Choo on the left thumb and knocked him down in the sixth inning of a 4-2 loss at Progressive Field.

"If it wasn't for the protector, my thumb would have been broken again," said Choo, who needed surgery to repair his fractured thumb last year after getting hit by San Francisco's Jonathan Sanchez on June 24. He missed six weeks of the season. When he returned, he was fitted with a molded thumb protector.

"I wore it every game when I came back last year," said Choo. "I've only worn it against lefties this year, but I might start wearing it all the time."