Lorenzo Cain wore a look of resignation as he stood in front of his locker. Yet another stint on the 15-day disabled list, this for a groin strain he suffered in the Royals’ victory on Wednesday night.
The team initially categorized the injury as a minor one, but Cain will undergo an MRI and further evaluations by team doctors in Kansas City on Friday. The team will be without their talented but fragile center fielder for at least two weeks.
Cain sounded exasperated when discussing the injury. He committed to an extensive stretching program in recent years designed to avoid scenarios like this. But he still felt a tweak in his groin while trying to beat out an infield single the night before.
“It’s very frustrating,” Cain said. “I’m not really upset, I’m more disappointed right now. Because I know how hard I worked.”
He added, “I’m stretching every day. I’m foam-rolling every day. I’m working out. I’m doing all my stuff, each and every day. I’m in the training room doing stuff as well. It’s disappointing.”
Jarrod Dyson replaced Cain in the field for Thursday’s game against the Astros. Both Justin Maxwell and Nori Aoki can play center field.
The team called up left-handed pitcher Justin Marks to take Cain’s roster spot. Marks doubles as depth for Saturday, when Bruce Chen attempts to make a start despite a lingering issue with tightness in his left glute. The Royals are expected to make a separate roster move on Friday to add a position player.
Cain hopes the tests on Friday will not reveal any further damage. But he does not plan to be overly aggressive in his rehabilitation. He missed 79 games with a groin strain in 2012.
“I’m not going to rush it,” Cain said. “My legs are vital to me. I’ve had a lot of injuries to my legs, so I’m not going to rush back like I did a few years back, and make it even worse.”