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Sanchez injures groin on steal, will undergo MRI

@BryanHoch
September 12, 2019

DETROIT -- Gary Sánchez has been celebrated for his powerful bat and strong throwing arm, but speed on the basepaths is rarely listed among his most impressive attributes. The Tigers saw the Yankees catcher as no threat to run, and though he proved them wrong, the end result may prove

DETROIT -- Gary Sánchez has been celebrated for his powerful bat and strong throwing arm, but speed on the basepaths is rarely listed among his most impressive attributes. The Tigers saw the Yankees catcher as no threat to run, and though he proved them wrong, the end result may prove to be more costly than an inning-ending out.

Nabbed at second base to end the top of the third inning, Sanchez was forced to exit the second game of Thursday's doubleheader at Comerica Park, a 6-4 Yankees victory, with tightness in his left groin. Sanchez said that the injury feels "very similar" to the left groin strain that sent him to the injured list in late July.

"On the slide at second base, I felt I overstretched my leg a little bit there," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "Running toward the dugout, I felt fine. Then I put on my equipment and once I squatted behind home plate, that's when I felt it tightening up. I thought it was the smart thing to say something to prevent it from getting worse."

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Kyle Higashioka took over behind the plate for the fourth inning, and Sanchez will join fellow injured Yankees Edwin Encarnacion and J.A. Happ in New York on Friday, where they will all be evaluated by team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad. Sanchez is expected to have an MRI.

Happ (biceps tendinitis) to undergo tests in NYC

"Obviously those are really key people we're talking about," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "I'm optimistic, frankly, on all three of them. We'll hope that the news we get back in New York and the treatment moving forward makes these things not long term."

Sanchez missed 16 games earlier this season with a left groin strain that sidelined him from July 24 to Aug. 10. Sanchez also missed 11 games earlier in the season with a left calf strain, and he had two stints on the IL last year with right groin strains.

Boone said that Sanchez had been given the green light to run from the bench.

"I opened him up there [to run] with them not holding him on," Boone said.

Additionally, right-handed reliever Tommy Kahnle was examined by head athletic trainer Steve Donohue after slamming his pitching hand into a plastic sunflower seeds bin in the dugout after being removed in the ninth inning.

"They were just making sure his finger is all right," Boone said. "I think he's fine."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.