MINNEAPOLIS -- White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal was placed on the 10-day injured list with a torn tendon in his left knee prior to Tuesday night’s game against the Twins. The switch-hitter is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks.
Grandal checked his swing in a sixth-inning at-bat during Monday’s 6-5 loss to Minnesota and crumpled to the ground, writhing in pain. He had missed the final two games over the weekend series in Detroit due to left calf tightness, but he had to be helped off the field on Monday.
He had to undergo a surgical procedure to repair the tear in the tendon on Wednesday. The White Sox said an updated timeline will be provided in the future, although doctors continue to expect Grandal to return during the 2021 regular season.
“I just think it was the twist he made as he made his swing. Something got caught. It didn't free up,” manager Tony La Russa said. “You make a turn on it and it got caught, and something popped."
Dealing with a significant injury is nothing new for La Russa and the White Sox. Seven projected Opening Day players were the on the IL as of Tuesday, a list featuring left fielder Eloy Jiménez, center fielder Luis Robert, second baseman Nick Madrigal, Grandal, outfielder Adam Engel, left-handed reliever Aaron Bummer and right-handed reliever Evan Marshall.
Only Madrigal has been ruled out for the season after having surgery to repair a right hamstring tear. Engel is expected back in the lineup on Wednesday, while Jiménez and Robert are expected back after the All-Star break. The White Sox held a six-game lead over Cleveland in the American League Central heading into Tuesday.
“You have to take those kind of things as they are, things that happen in the game,” first baseman José Abreu said through interpreter Billy Russo. “You have to just keep moving forward, do your best and keep playing as a team.”
“It's only as difficult as you allow it to be. We control our minds and our hearts,” La Russa said. “If we want to act frustrated and discouraged and that we've been unlucky, then we're going to lose an edge. We worry more about Yasmani. It's just a tough break for us. Tougher for him.”
Seby Zavala was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte to take Grandal’s roster spot and will start behind the plate with starter Lance Lynn on the mound in Wednesday’s series finale at Target Field. Zack Collins moves into the starting role, with the possibility of the team adding a veteran at some point.
Replacing Grandal’s game-calling, framing and offensive power (14 home runs, 38 RBIs, 60 walks and a .388 on-base percentage) will be tough. Grandal also sustained a right knee issue during a running drill early in Spring Training, costing him three weeks in Arizona.