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All-Star catcher has ligament damage in right elbow

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Bryce Harper is officially off the market. The former MVP will become a member of the Philadelphia Phillies.
USA TODAY

TEMPE, Ariz. – All-Star catcher Salvador Perez could miss a significant chunk of the Kansas City Royals’ season with an elbow injury.

The Royals shut down Perez for four weeks this offseason when he developed soreness in his right elbow while working out.

“We weren’t really sweating it too much,” Royals manager Ned Yost said Friday. “He came to spring training, really started to ramp up his throwing program, was doing really well.”

But then on Wednesday, Perez started to feel pain in his elbow again during batting practice.

The next day it was sore. And an MRI this time revealed damage to the ulnar collateral ligament. 

“Sometime between the time he started his throwing program until now, he did end up damaging the ligament,” Yost said. “Now the next step is to send him for a second opinion and see exactly what we have.”

Perez, 28, is scheduled to see noted elbow surgeon Neal Elattrache in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

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If surgery is recommended, Perez could miss most, if not all, of the upcoming season.

“You don’t put it down as definitive at this point,” Royals head athletic trainer Nick Kenney said, echoing Yost’s call to wait and see how bad the ligament damage is.

“Worst-case scenario would be surgery. That’s always is the worst-case scenario.”

Losing their starting catcher for any amount of time would be a significant blow to the Royals. 

Perez led all major league catchers last season with 27 home runs and 80 RBI. He has been an All-Star each of the past six seasons and has won Gold Gloves for his fielding in five of those six.

Follow Gardner on Twitter @SteveAGardner

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