With the sharp pain in his left wrist lingering and his ability to swing a baseball bat compromised, Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain said Saturday that he was considering shutting down for the season, according to an interview with Fox Sports Kansas City.
In a postgame interview, Royals manager Ned Yost clarified that the club was still holding out hope that Cain could still play again after taking another week off.
Cain told club reporter Joel Goldberg in a pregame interview that the pain in his sprained left wrist was severely limiting his ability to swing, repeating what he told reporters here on Friday night. In the moments after the game, he politely declined comment when approached by two reporters, offering a smile instead.
That left Yost to do most of the talking in a somewhat confusing situation.
“We got to see how this heals,” Yost said. “He’s frustrated right now. Could it possibly be where he doesn’t play again this year? Yeah. But I still hold out hope that this thing gets over the hump a little bit.”
In the moments after a 6-5 victory, Yost revealed that Cain received a stem-cell injection on Aug. 30, which caused inflammation and forced him to miss seven games. Cain, who has been battling a Grade 2 wrist sprain for weeks, returned to the lineup on Friday after missing more than a week. He reached base four times, drawing two walks and singling to center field. But he appeared in significant discomfort for most of the night.
“Every swing, it doesn’t feel good,” Cain said on Friday. “I don’t know what to say. How’s it look?”
Yost said the club’s medical staff opted for a stem-cell injection in hopes that it would help strengthen the sprained ligaments and aid recovery. At the moment, that doesn’t appear to have happened. On Saturday night, Yost said Cain would be shut down for another week.
“They thought if they could get the stem-cell in there, it would make it stronger,” Yost said, “and maybe heal a little bit quicker.”
For now, it’s unclear if Cain could injure the wrist more seriously if he continues to play. But the Royals aren’t ready to declare him done for the year — even if Cain is already signaling that is a likely scenario.
“We’re not there yet,” Yost said. “Is it a possibility of it being there? Yeah. We just got to wait.
“The issue was that he got a stem-cell injection in his hand, which completely inflamed it. Do we have enough time for that imflammation to go down so that he regains his strength back? We can’t answer that.
Yost continued: “Is it gonna subside in a week? I can’t answer that. We’re running out of time here. The way he feels right now, yeah. I think his mindset is, ‘I can’t do this.’
“He gave it a try last night. He came back today and it was really sore.”