Surgeons repaired the injured right wrist of Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, and the team has not wavered in its confidence that the two-time All Star will be in left field on Opening Day on April 6 at Kauffman Stadium.
But to get there, Gordon probably will have to undertake a reduced workload during spring training. General manager Dayton Moore indicated on Tuesday he does not expect Gordon to be fully recovered from surgery when the team convenes next month at its spring training complex in Surprise, Ariz.
“I don’t know if he’ll be 100 percent,” Moore said. “(Trainer) Nick (Kenney) does feel very confident that he’ll be ready to go Opening Day. Will Alex get his usual number of reps early on? I can’t say that’s going to take place, for sure.
“But we expect him to be taking part in a lot of drills. And certainly he’ll be taking live batting practice, whether it be in the cage or on the field, as we open up spring training. That’s what we expect.
“I think Ned will probably progress him a little slower than he has in the past. We’ll listen to Alex. I think Alex is a good self-evaluator. He’ll tell us where he is. And I know Nick will trust him. We’ll trust Nick and Alex, together, to help us make those decisions on the field.”
The precise procedure for Gordon was a wrist extensor retinaculum repair. He initially hurt the joint just before the All-Star Game in July, an injury which caused him to sit out the game. The pain resurfaced during his offseason workouts.
Gordon has averaged 156 games per season since his renaissance in 2011. He performed at an MVP-caliber level for the first five months of 2014 before a poor September cost him points on the ballot. He still finished 12th in the voting, as he posted a .783 OPS with 19 homers and 74 RBI. And, of course, he won his fourth consecutive Gold Glove for his unparalleled work in left field.