Lorenzo Cain sauntered through the visitors clubhouse on early Sunday morning here at U.S. Cellular Field, entering the office of Royals manager Ned Yost as the door closed behind him.
One day earlier, Cain had vented his frustration in an interview with Fox Sports Kansas City’s Joel Goldberg, saying he was considering shutting down for the season after a sprained wrist continued to limited his ability to swing the bat. But in a postgame interview, Yost appeared to contradict his player, saying the club was still holding out hope that Cain could return. By Sunday morning, Cain and the Royals appeared to be on the same page.
In an interview before Sunday’s series finale against the White Sox, Cain said he would be shut down for the next week and the Royals’ medical staff would re-evaluate him then.
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“We’re going to do everything we can to strengthen it,” Cain said. “I did some exercises last night as well. Obviously, I’m swinging pretty much with one hand out there. It’s tough. But we’ll wait a week and just kind of evaluate from there.”
Cain said his comments on Saturday were made out of frustration.
“Obviously, I want to be on the field,” he said. “I want to be in that jungle with the guys. I want to be grinding it out with them for the end of the season. So it’s frustrating to not be out there on the field with them.”
The latest development regarding Cain’s injured left wrist came just one day after Yost revealed that the former All-Star had received a stem-cell injection on Aug. 30. The Royals’ medical staff hoped the injection would aid recovery, but it also caused some immediate swelling that caused Cain to miss seven games.
“My hand was swollen for three days,” Cain said. “The shot was to create scarring over my injury, to help it hopefully heal faster and regain strength.”
While the Royals remain publicly hopeful that Cain will play again this season, much of his immediate future could hinge on the club’s status in the race for the American League’s second wild card. The Royals entered Sunday four games out of the final spot, but they were also looking up at five teams in the standings, leaving a third straight playoff appearance dependent on an improbable run over the season’s last 21 games.
For now, the Royals will move forward without a key piece of their lineup. But as Cain stood inside the visitors’ clubhouse on Sunday morning, he expressed confidence that he would be fully healthy when spring training begins in 2017.
“I’ll be ready to go,” Cain said. “It’ll definitely heal. It’ll just take a little time. I definitely wouldn’t want any restrictions heading into my offseason, especially my training. I want to be able to start training, full go.”