Frank Thomas is likely to miss the rest of the season for the AL Central-leading White Sox because of a fracture in his left foot close to where he had surgery last year, his doctor said yesterday.

The injury didn't appear to be career-ending, Los Angeles-based surgeon Richard Ferkel said.

The 37-year-old Thomas is batting .219 with 12 home runs and 26 RBI in only 105 at-bats after starting the year on the disabled list. The two-time AL most valuable player has been slowed by ankle problems all season and limited to 34 games. He was placed on the 15-day DL retroactive to July 21.

Thomas broke a bone in his left ankle July 6, 2004, and had surgery last October. He was activated from the DL on May 30.

Trainer Herm Schneider said the fracture is not the same one that was repaired last October. He said it's doubtful if Thomas could recover quickly enough should the team make the playoffs.

"It doesn't look good in that respect. It takes an awful long time to heal," Schneider said, adding it would probably take six to eight weeks to heal.

With Thomas out, Carl Everett will be the team's primary designated hitter.

* HUNTER INJURES ANKLE: Gold Glove CF Torii Hunter was taken off the field on a stretcher with a strained tendon in his left ankle last night, an injury that could be a huge blow to the Twins' playoff chances.

X-rays taken at Fenway Park showed no fracture. Hunter will remain with the team through the weekend, then fly to Minnesota on Monday to have an MRI exam.

With two outs in the first, the Red Sox' David Ortiz hit a ball to the triangle in deep right-center field. Hunter tried to climb the wall near the bullpen to make the catch, but he planted his left foot awkwardly and fell to the ground in pain.

* WOMACK SIGHTING: Tony Womack got the start in center field for the Yankees after sitting out 10 of the last 12 games.

"I just want to get Tony involved and see if he can get something going. It puts an extra outfielder in the mix," Manager Joe Torre said.

-- From News Services

White Sox DH Frank Thomas, limited to 34 games this season because of ankle problems, has a fracture in his left foot.