Three-time All-Star left fielder Alex Gordon packed up his Kauffman Stadium locker Friday before the Royals played the Tigers, preparing to head south for a rehab assignment.
Gordon, who broke the scaphoid bone in his right wrist May 22 during a collision with Mike Moustakas in Chicago, will spend the next week at Class AA Northwest Arkansas on a rehab assignment.
It’s the final step before Gordon returns to the Royals’ lineup, which could happen as soon as June 24 when the club starts a five-game homestand against Houston and St. Louis.
“I told him that I would like to see him get somewhere between 20 to 25 at-bats,” manager Ned Yost said. “It could be less if he’s feeling good and doing good. It could be more if he’s not. We’ll judge it, but the way he looks in batting practice right now, I don’t think he’ll be there real long.”
Gordon said he expects to start his rehab assignment with the Naturals, who are home until Wednesday and then play a four-game series at Tulsa, on Saturday or Sunday.
Yost pegged Sunday as the day Gordon, who resumed live batting practice earlier this week, would return to action.
“He’s hitting a bunch of balls into those fountains,” Yost said of Gordon’s batting practice swings. “He feels good, he feels strong, he feels ready to go, so he’s doing a lot better now and it won’t be long.”
Gordon is eager to return, but the rehab assignment comes at an unfortunate time.
The Royals return to Citi Field in New York for the first time since the title-clinching win against the Mets in last year’s World Series.
Gordon won’t be present for the two-game series with the Mets on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“It’s a shame, because I think it would be pretty cool to go back there,” he said with a smile.