The rehabilitation schedule for Royals outfielder Alex Rios on Wednesday calls for his first session of indoor batting practice since fracturing a bone in his left hand. With that in mind, manager Ned Yost indicated Rios could begin a minor-league rehabilitation assignment in the next seven to 10 days.
“That’s what we’re hoping for,” Yost said.
Rios has not played for the Royals since April 13.
In follow-up conversations with both Rios and trainer Nick Kenney, an emphasis was placed on caution. Starting an assignment that soon would require Rios to complete a series of steps he has not yet hurdled, Kenney said.
“The one thing you’ve got to understand is that all these things are projections,” Kenney said. “If he doesn’t progress over the course of this week, it will be longer than that. We’re just kind of throwing out some things that are based on where he’s at today. But you’ve got to understand that there’s more things that have to happen, in succession, for us to even think that that’s attainable.”
Rios has been able to hit in soft-toss drills. But after he takes indoor batting practice, he will graduate to outdoor batting practice with his teammates. He must complete several sessions before the club clears him to play in minor-league game. The team wants him to come back at full strength, and not rush a return.
“He is progressing into more and more function all the time,” Kenney said. “But we have to see how he reacts to that function.”