Royals’ Salvador Perez rests sprained thumb, expects to return on Friday

Salvador Perez arrived at Kauffman Stadium on Thursday ready to play after sustaining a slight left thumb sprain in Wednesday’s victory over the Houston Astros. Royals manager Ned Yost still tapped on the breaks, offering a day of rest to the club’s All-Star catcher.

“If we needed him to play today, he could have played,” Yost said. “And he’s feeling much better. But it’s like, ‘OK, let’s give him one more day because the trainers do a really good job of getting guys healthy quick.’”

The injury occurred Wednesday while Perez was receiving a sinker from reliever Scott Alexander in the eighth inning of a 7-5 victory. When Houston’s Carlos Beltran struck out on a foul tip, the baseball caught Perez’s thumb in an awkward fashion. Yost said Thursday that head trainer Nick Kenney described it as a “slight sprain.”

Reserve catcher Drew Butera replaced Perez in the ninth inning on Wednesday and was set to start on Thursday against the Astros. Perez is expected back in the lineup Friday when the Royals open a three-game series against the San Diego Padres.

“He feels better,” Yost said of Perez. “It’s just a chance to … let’s give it one extra day instead of pounding it right back.”

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