The World Baseball Classic has been embraced by some players, and pushed away by others due to injury concerns. Many clubs have gone as far as to suggest that their stars not take part in the competition due to its proximity to Opening Day.
For those associated with the Kansas City Royals organization, the fears were realized on Saturday night.
Catcher Salvador Perez is playing for his home country of Venezuela in the WBC, and is willing to go all out for his country. In the ninth inning of the team's latest game against Italy, he took a hard hit from Drew Butera while blocking the plate.
Drew Butera taking out Salvador Perez. Yikes. pic.twitter.com/um1nn5dLO9— Jeremy Scheuch (@jeremyscheuch) March 12, 2017
Perez had an incredible game, including the then go-ahead home run in the top half of the ninth inning.
This unfortunately will at the very least knock Perez out of the tournament. He was unable to put any weight on the injury as he came off the field.
Told Salvador Perez could not put any weight on his left leg as he was helped off the field in #WBC game in Mexico. Will continue to update.— Heidi Watney (@HeidiWatney) March 12, 2017
Perez will receive an MRI at the hospital, and then we'll know more. For now, Royals fans can hold their breath.
We'll have more info as it comes in.