MRI confirms Lopez has deep bruise on ribs

September 15th, 2018

KANSAS CITY -- Royals right-hander  underwent an MRI on Saturday morning that showed exactly what the Royals initially diagnosed on Friday night: He has a deep bruise on his left rib cage.

There is no indication yet whether Lopez will be able to make his next scheduled start, which would come on Thursday in Detroit.

"He's day to day," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "It's just about [pain] tolerance now."

Lopez left Friday's 8-4 win against the Twins with one out in the fifth inning when the bruise began affecting his breathing. The injury occurred an inning earlier, when he collided with third baseman as they pursued a high chopper behind the mound.

"I feel much better," Lopez said. "But it still bothers me when I cough. I can't even laugh."

Lopez is optimistic he will heal quickly.

"I feel like in a couple days, if I feel good, I can throw a bullpen," Lopez said.

Lopez had pitched four scoreless innings before the bruise began affecting him. He was tagged for four hits and three runs in the fifth. With one out in the fifth, pitching coach Cal Eldred visited the mound and, after talking with Lopez, signaled for Yost and trainer Nick Kenney to come out. Shortly thereafter, Lopez left the field.

"He's a strong boy," Lopez said of Dozier. "He's like 220 [pounds]. He's 6-4, and I got no upper body."

But Lopez said he did fall asleep rather quickly Friday night.

"When I tried to lay up it hurt," he said. "When I lay down and relax, it's OK. Hopefully, it will be OK."