Souza exits with left hip strain, is day to day

July 19th, 2017

OAKLAND -- Rays outfielder Steven Souza Jr. exited in the first inning of Wednesday afternoon's 7-2 loss in Oakland with a left hip strain.
"We're actually pretty optimistic that we avoided a major injury," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "He's going to go tomorrow to have some major testing done. Talking to Steven, he feels pretty good, pretty OK."
Souza limped off the field under his own power with the training staff after he was caught stealing second base. Souza appeared to jam his left leg into the bag as A's shortstop tagged him. Souza said that the dirt around second base was "extremely muddy," leading to his leg getting stuck in the ground.
"I don't know how it got really muddy out there, but it was not OK. I've never actually slid into a Major League base like that and stuck and felt like I was going deeper into the ground, trying to dig a hole," Souza said. "My leg got stuck in the ground and I just kind of felt a jump in my hip. That didn't feel very great, so I came out of the game."
X-rays were negative, although Souza will get an MRI on Thursday back in Florida. It's not the first time Souza has hurt his left hip: he had surgery on it last September to deal with an impingement that had bothered him throughout most of 2016.
"I feel better since it happened. I feel a lot better. It's hard to tell with these things," Souza said. "I tore my hip last year and felt fine for the next couple of days. I'm praying it's nothing, I don't think it's anything. I'm getting an MRI tomorrow and make sure it's nothing."
Souza acknowledged that his previous injury troubles with his left hip makes this flare-up even more frightening, especially given the good bill of health he's had all year.
"When it's the same hip that you've gone through this whole process for? And then have pain in that hip that I haven't really felt all year long -- it's been pretty remarkable how blessed I've been with that hip. It's very scary," Souza said.
On the season, Souza is batting .271 with 20 homers and 60 RBIs. Souza can't say whether or not he'll be out for a while, but feels like the progress that's happened since the injury occurred should be a good sign.
"Anytime you feel a grab or a sharp pain, it's obviously not a great feeling right away. I've learned now not to try to jump to conclusions and to wait and let the pain die down," Souza said. "I guess that it's gotten better and it's kind of an hour after game, that's when I can tell, 'I'm in trouble,' or, 'I'm going to get better.'"