There was good news for the Royals on Saturday, but not great.
The results of an MRI done Friday night on Royals catcher Salvador Perez revealed he has a strained intercostal muscle on the right side of his chest. Royals manager Ned Yost breathed a little sigh of relief, because he feared an oblique injury.
“Worst case scenario, it’s half the time (missed relative to an oblique injury),” Yost said. “But we won’t know anything for probably 48 hours to set a time line on it.”
An oblique injury, which affects the muscles that make up the base of a player’s core, connect the bottom rib and the pelvis. The recovery period can be up to eight weeks. According to innerbody.com, intercostal muscles are a group of 22 pairs of tiny muscles found between the ribs, and they are important to the movement of the chest during breathing.
The reason the news wasn’t great is that Perez would have gone on the disabled list had the Royals’ game Saturday night against the Seattle Mariners been played. As it stands, Yost added he would be “shocked” if Perez didn’t go on the 10-day disabled list on Sunday, and said the expected maximum time out would be four weeks.
“Will he be able to play tomorrow?” Yost asked. “I doubt it. But you still can’t go into a game with one catcher. But we’ll see. We’re just glad it’s not an oblique.”
Catcher Cam Gallagher, who is batting .294 at Class AAA Omaha, is with the team now and would be in line to take Perez’s place on the roster.
Perez left Friday night’s game after he struck out in the sixth inning. Perez has dealt with tightness and soreness in the muscles near his left and right rib cage earlier this season. But this was in a different spot.
Should Perez head to the DL, it would be the first time since he was on the 7-day bereavement list in 2013. He was on the 60-day disabled list in 2012 because of torn meniscus in his left knee.
There have been some close calls since. Perez and teammate Cheslor Cuthbert collided while chasing a foul ball last season and Perez’s left leg was injured. In spring training, Perez limped away from a World Baseball Classic game with Team Venezuela after he was hit in the knee by Royals teammate Drew Butera on a play at the plate.
In both instances, Perez avoided time on the disabled list. This time, it doesn’t appear he’ll be as fortunate.