Kevin Kiermaier has a torn ligament in his right thumb and will need surgery, the Rays announced on Monday, when they placed him on the 10-day disabled list. The star center fielder is expected to miss eight to 12 weeks, meaning he could be out until July.
Kiermaier injured his thumb sliding headfirst into second base in the first inning of the Rays' 10-4 loss to the Phillies on Sunday at Tropicana Field. As he dove into the bag, his hand got caught in the ground. Kiermaier said his thumb "went in a weird angle."
X-rays taken on Sunday came back negative for any fractures, but an MRI Kiermaier took on Monday revealed the ligament tear. That had been the Rays' concern all along, with Kiermaier saying Sunday, "I knew there wasn't a broken bone, but we're worried about whatever ligaments and tendons are in there."
Losing Kiermaier, one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball and a mainstay near the top of the Tampa Bay lineup, is a major blow for the Rays. The team has now lost Kiermaier to significant injuries in each of the last three seasons -- Kiermaier missed 48 games after fracturing his left wrist in 2016 and 61 games after fracturing his right hip in '17.
In Kiermaier's absence, the Rays could potentially play Mallex Smith in center field, or move Carlos Gomez from right to center and slot Smith in right.
David Adler/

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