Derek Falvey, Minnesota’s chief of baseball operations, provided an injury update to Buxton and several other Twins players ahead of Friday’s start against the Los Angeles Angels. After Minnesota went 1-7 on its wild ride and came out of the fray at AL Central, the team made the decision to close Buxton for the year.
Buxton, who won the All-Star title for the first time this season and scored 23 homers in 73 first-half games, has been out since August 23 with a strained right thigh. But the knee is still a problem, and Valvey said Buxton will have arthroscopic “cleaning” surgery to relieve some of the scar tissue and abrasion.
“The truth is, there are no tears in his knee,” Valvey said. “It does have some inflammation, it has some scar tissue, and it kind of has what builds up over time if you have tendinitis, which is kind of worn out area in some of these ligaments…to be clear.”
“So, what usually happens is scar tissue and it creates more of that inflammation when you put pressure on it. So let’s now take some of that off and hopefully that relieve some of that tension in the future,” he said. .
No surgery date has been set for Buxton, but it will likely be next week to get him ready for nearly a full season.
Valvey said Buxton’s hip is feeling better and will get better with rest. A knee and a combination of the two eventually ended Buxton’s season. He finished with an average of 0.224, 28 hurdles, 51 RBI and six steals in 92 games.
The team had been hoping for Buxton’s return this season, but Minnesota started on Friday 10 games behind Cleveland in the division and 9 1/2 games from the last wild card place.
“I think once we get to a certain point during the last kind of week or so and we’ve been working through the next best steps, if we’re in a slightly different situation, maybe we’ll increase that a little bit because in fact, the payoff for it isn’t going to be particularly long,” he said. Valvey said.
“So whether we do it next week or we do it two or three weeks from then, it’s just going to be frustrating for a few weeks before he can start doing some activity again,” he said.
The team had given Buxton routine days off to deal with the ongoing knee problem. He sustained a thigh injury on August 22nd diving for the ball.
Buxton, who signed a seven-year, $100 million off-season contract, played more than 100 games just once in his eight-year career.
“This guy, he’s been fighting through challenges over the course of a lot of his career, sure, but that hasn’t stopped this year, and he’s really started early,” Valvey said. “I think the fact that he was able to get in there, fight, and get some healthy stretches, which was obviously not only healthy but incredibly productive, I felt like he was tracking really well, and we were in a very good place there. ”
Valve said the team did not shut the door on the return of second base officer Jorge Polanco, who has a sore left knee. Falvey said he is also hopeful that defensive back Max Kepler, who came off a sprained right wrist, can make a comeback this season.
Outfieler player Trevor Larnach, who used to play rehab games after core muscle surgery, is now dealing with wrist soreness.
Tyler Mahley, who was acquired on Deadline Trade from Cincinnati, will not return as he is recovering from right shoulder inflammation. The team is focused on preparing the bowler for the start of next season.