SURPRISE, Ariz — Royals fans are no doubt breathing much easier with news that Salvador Perez appears to have not suffered a significant injury in Saturday’s matchup in the World Baseball Classic.
“We think he’s going to be OK,” Royals manager Ned Yost said, according to Royals.mlb.com. “He was checked out yesterday. [Catching coach] Pedro [Grifol] was on the phone most of the night and so was [trainer] Nick [Kenney], talking to Salvy, talking to the trainers, and [Perez] felt much better.”
Salvy was playing for Team Venezuela when he caught Royals teammate — representing Team Italy — Drew Butera running home. The collision sent Perez tumbling back and reeling next to home plate.
Fans instantly took to social media fearing the worst as Salvy had to be helped off the field and was seen held up by trainers with a heavily-bandaged left knee.
Those fears were largely dismissed Sunday, but Yost seems to be cautiously optimistic.
“The MRI didn’t show anything. But we’ll get another one back here to double-check,” Yost added.
Yost said he was shocked when he saw the play, but doesn’t fault Butera. Watching replays, Yost said he could tell he tried to hold up the charge at the plate.
“And my second thought was ‘I’m kicking Drew’s [rear] when I see him,'” he said. “But then when you watch the play, it wasn’t Drew’s fault. It was just one of those things.”
Perez himself took to social media to ensure fans that he’s okay. “Thank God everything is fine with my knee,” Salvy captioned an Instagram post, adding a message of support for Team Venezuela, (translated from Spanish) “I regretted not continuing with my team, but I will always be supporting you guys.”