HOUSTON -- Twins third baseman Miguel Sano, who had a titanium rod inserted in his left shin last offseason, left Tuesday night's 5-2 loss to the the Astros on a cart after sustaining a lower left leg bruise while sliding into second base. X-rays were negative and his status is day to day, the club announced.
With two on and one out in the second, right-hander Justin Verlander threw a ball in the dirt and Sano broke for second, drawing a throw from catcher Martin Maldonado. Sano's left leg seemed to get caught underneath as he made contact with the second-base bag while shortstop Carlos Correa attempted to put the tag on him.
"I'm very happy to say that he's doing better than I could have imagined," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "At the time, we weren't sure. His first real impact to the area that was worked on last year with the surgery. He was in a lot of pain. Kind of radiated down all through his ankle, but we got him up here, got him checked out, and it looks like he's got bruising in the leg. We're going to precautionarily put him on crutches here just to keep the weight off for a day. Optimistic that it might not be too long, which I thought wasn't going to be the case when he got carted off the field."
Sano was ruled safe on the play, and the call was ruled to stand after a replay review, but he remained on the ground as Molitor and athletic trainer Tony Leo came out to second base. Sano didn't put any weight on his left leg as he got into the cart.
"That's a lot of mass," Molitor said. "And it hits the ground and there's impact, and his leg bent a little funny. I'm sure there was some stress, whether he had the rod in there or not. But I'm speculating that it might have concerned him, knowing the pain was where the work was done. We're careful to make sure. I said get the cart, let's not mess around in case we got something major going on there."
Sano, 25, is hitting .202/.285/.405 in 70 games this year. He spent six weeks in the Minors from mid-June until late July to work on his conditioning after last November's surgery.
"After the X-rays were done, he was smiling," Molitor said. "I think he was relieved to know he wasn't facing being shut down here with something major."