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Perez exits with sore right knee, plans to play tonight

Royals' All-Star catcher feels 'pinch' after single in fifth; no MRI or X-ray taken @KCKaegel

MINNEAPOLIS -- The booming voice of Salvador Perez came floating happily from the shower room. Then he was in front of a mirror, carefully grooming his wavy hair.

Then Perez made his way to his locker, joking with his teammates and smiling and laughing. He didn't look like anyone who was concerned about a sore right knee.

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However, the rest of Royals Kingdom probably held its collective breath on Monday night when the two-time All-Star catcher was taken out of the 6-4 victory over the Twins with what the club termed as "discomfort in his right knee."

But as Perez toweled off and prepared to board the Royals' charter flight to Colorado for an Interleague series beginning Tuesday night, he declared that he would play against the Rockies.

"I will be ready [Tuesday]," Perez said. "One hundred percent."

That, of course, will be up to manager Ned Yost after the medical team rechecks Perez before the game at Denver.

The injured knee is not the one that required surgery during Spring Training 2012. Perez injured his left knee, underwent an operation and missed about half the season.

"That one is OK," he said.

The right knee was injured as he ran the bases after hitting a two-run single in the fifth inning. There was some disparity about just where the mishap occurred.

"The fifth inning, he came around second base and kind of stopped real quick and pinched his patella tendon," said Yost. "So it was a little sore, so kind of more out of precaution than anything else, we put Kratzy [Erik Kratz] back there."

According to Perez, the "pinch" came one base later.

"I just felt something after I stopped at third base," Perez said.

Perez insisted he felt no pain.

"Just tight," he said.

Perez stayed in the game and caught two more innings before Kratz pinch-hit for him in the seventh and hit the first of his two home runs as a substitute.

There was no MRI or X-rays taken of the knee, only a manual examination by head athletic trainer Nick Kenney.

"Nada," Perez said. "Nick took care of me. He's the best trainer in the big leagues."

Yost insisted that he was not at all concerned.

"It's day to day. His knee is structurally sound. It's nothing to do with that. He just pinched that tendon and it fired up a little bit," Yost said.

"Nick told me as soon as he came in that he'd tweaked his knee, but that's like, 'OK, Salvy, go ahead and catch.' Then he came in and it was still a little sore."

It took a while, though, before word was sent to the press box that Perez had only "discomfort" and the news could be flashed to concerned Royals fans.

In the immediate aftermath at least, the injury did not seem serious.

"There's a chance he could be playing [Tuesday]," Yost said. "A very good chance."

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for

Kansas City Royals, Erik Kratz, Salvador Perez