SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals appeared relieved on Sunday morning over initial reports that the MRI Salvador Perez had Saturday night showed only inflammation and no structural damage to the All-Star catcher's injured left knee.The Royals, though, plan on having Perez take another MRI when he arrives back at Royals
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals appeared relieved on Sunday morning over initial reports that the MRI Salvador Perez had Saturday night showed only inflammation and no structural damage to the All-Star catcher's injured left knee.
The Royals, though, plan on having Perez take another MRI when he arrives back at Royals camp on Monday.
"We think he's going to be OK," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He was checked out yesterday. [Catching coach] Pedro [Grifol] was on the phone most of the night and so was [trainer] Nick [Kenney], talking to Salvy, talking to the trainers, and [Perez] felt much better.
"The MRI didn't show anything. But we'll get another one back here to double-check."
:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::
Perez, playing for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, was injured in a collision at home plate with his Royals teammate and backup catcher, Andrew Butera, who was playing for Italy.
Perez, who had homered earlier in the game, had to be helped off the field after the collision and could not put weight on his left leg.
Yost said he didn't know anything about the injury until he received a call Saturday night from general manager Dayton Moore.
"I didn't know anything until Dayton called me," Yost said. "I got on the phone with Pedro and he walked me through [what happened].
"But I went to bed a lot less concerned than I did after the first phone call."
Yost said he looked at replays of the collision and saw that Butera tried to hold up on his slide at the plate. Yost's first thought of the injury, though, was disbelief.
"And my second thought was 'I'm kicking Drew's [rear] when I see him,'" Yost said, smiling. "But then when you watch the play, it wasn't Drew's fault. It was just one of those things.
"All the signs are that Salvy's going to be OK."
Yost also indicated he holds no ill will toward the Classic.
"You sit and watch the WBC and you can complain about it, but I'm enthralled by it," Yost said. "The games are fantastic. You can see the enthusiasm, the emotion of playing for your country. I couldn't have been prouder of Salvy when he hit that home run. It was fantastic.
"It's the globalization of baseball. That's the idea of it. I can't go both ways. If I had the opportunity as a player to do it, heck yeah I would. I can't complain about it and enjoy it at the same time."
The World Baseball Classic runs through March 22. In the U.S., games air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via MLBNetwork.com/watch, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. The tournament is being distributed internationally across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio in territories excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. Get tickets for games at Marlins Park, Tokyo Dome, Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Mexico, Petco Park, as well as the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at WorldBaseballClassic.com.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.