ARLINGTON, Texas – Byron Buxton appeared shaken up but otherwise unhurt after crashing into the center-field wall trying to catch Rougned Odor’s first-inning fly ball at Globe Life Park on Friday night.
But as Twins athletic trainer Dave Pruemer and left fielder Robbie Grossman tried to help him to his feet, Buxton’s leg suddenly gave way when he put weight on it, and he sat back down on the turf.
Twins fans could have been forgiven for fearing the worst, especially once Buxton was driven off the field on a cart. But after a doctor’s exam, the Twins got some good news: It’s just a bruised knee.
Buxton, who missed a pair of games last weekend after a similar crash into the wall at Target Field, is day-to-day. He was replaced by Eddie Rosario.
Buxton, seen limping in the clubhouse after the game, will undergo a magnetic resonance imaging test Saturday, and there is plenty riding on it. With the Twins mired hopelessly in last place, this season is now about making young players such as Buxton, Max Kepler and Miguel Sano comfortable and confident. And it looked for a moment like Buxton’s chances of doing so this year had been ripped up by a headlong impact with a wall.
“You watch him go down, you’re always a little bit fearful potential collisions like that,” manager Paul Molitor said. “There’s a lot of violence to that position when you play it like him. [It] reminded me of Torii [Hunter] and the Kirby [Puckett] days.”
Said Buxton: “It really scared me a little bit more when my knee gave out on me,” Buxton said. “I’ve never experienced something like that, so it just kind of made me panic a little bit more.”