Royals catcher Salvador Perez has appeared in noticeable discomfort while playing in two games since returning from the disabled list. He has winced in pain after swings and gone down to one knee on multiple occasions during at-bats. In such moments, he still appears limited by a strained intercostal muscle that forced a trip to the 10-day disabled list in early August.
Yet manager Ned Yost sought to tamp down concern on Thursday, stating that Perez was playing through a manageable level of discomfort in his side.
“He’s going to feel it,” Yost said, referencing the intercostal strain. “He’s still going to feel it. But like we talked about last night, it’s playable.”
The Royals opted to give Perez a day off Thursday in the final game of a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies. The schedule was planned for days, Yost said. When Perez returned to the lineup on Tuesday night, Yost said his All-Star catcher would likely receive “recovery days” on Thursday and Sunday afternoon in Cleveland.
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Perez missed 15 games after suffering the initial strain on Aug. 4 at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals are 2-0 since his return. But Yost reminded on Thursday that Perez also battled minor discomfort in his side for much of June and July. Yost compared the current symptoms to the earlier issues. Perez may feel pain after a swing or sudden movement, but the issue dissipates quickly.
The possibility of a more serious instance of re-injury remains. But the Royals will likely have to weather that possibility for the rest of the season. To fully rid Perez of the discomfort would likely require a month of rest. But after more than two weeks on the disabled list, the Royals are comfortable with Perez’s status.
“It’s like it was earlier in the year,” Yost said. “He played with it like that, for about the same level, for five weeks.”