Cano underwent a MRI on his left hamstring, which revealed a Grade 1 strain. He's hoping to return to game action in 5-7 days.
PEORIA, Ariz. — It hasn’t happened often over the past few seasons, but the Mariners finally received positive news following a preliminary injury diagnosis and the subsequent tests that followed.
After exiting in the second inning of Sunday’s Cactus League game with left hamstring tightness, Robinson Cano underwent a MRI on Monday morning as a precaution to see if there was any significant damage to what assumed to be a minor issue.
The scans revealed what was first hoped — a minor injury. Officially, it’s a Grade 1 strain, which is the least extensive on the 1-3 scale.
“All positive,” manger Scott Servais said. “The strength is all good. They did a quick MRI and there were no issues there. It’s almost the exact same place he had issues with it last season. Often times, I would say 99.9 percent of the time when they go get a MRI, it’s never positive. Today, it was brought to my attention it was one of the positive ones. It was not that big of deal.”
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The timetable for a return isn’t clear. Servais said he would be out 2-3 days, which is different than 2-3 games. Cano likely won’t do any baseball activity for 2-3 days and then get back on the field and take a few days to work back into games.
“I would say maybe five to seven days to not rush,” he said of returning to games. “I will be doing my core exercises, but nothing with legs today and tomorrow and then we’ll see.”
Cano said the issue stems from the scar tissue that built up in the hamstring from last year’s issue. That problem arose on Aug. 23, 2017 in a game against the Braves where he exited the game after feeling it when he left the batter’s box. He didn’t start the following two games in New York, but appeared as a pinch hitter.
“I’ve been working on my legs, but they said it was the scar tissue,” he said. “It’s something you can’t control. Now I’m just going to work on it and make it better. I think you just have to strengthen it and go from there.”
Cano said he feels no pain in the hamstring, just some residual tightness.
Servais doesn’t believe this will be a season-long nagging injury.
“I don’t think it’s going to bother him,” Servais said. “To Robbie’s credit, he felt something right away and it was, ‘Let’s not push it. Let’s not let him stay in. Let’s just get him out now so it can calm down.’ He did the right thing.”
*** First baseman Ryon Healy (hand surgery) is steadily progressing in his return to the field. He’s been hitting in the cage and is trending toward another step forward.
“Healy’s doing much better,” Servais said. “He’s been in the cage the last couple of days. He’ll increase the volume in the cage today and tomorrow. We are hoping to get him out for BP on the field on Wednesday and go from there. If we get a couple of days of that under his belt, we’ll see what’s happening next.”
*** The hope is that Felix Hernandez (forearm contusion) will be able to throw a bullpen session on Tuesday. Hernandez has been throwing long toss and also working at high intensity in his full mechanics on flat ground. A bullpen session would be a significant step in his recovery.
*** Nelson Cruz (flu) was supposed to return to the lineup on Monday. He had been at home for the past two days dealing with “a virus.” The Mariners had scratched him from the lineup, but then re-added him.
“Nellie is in,” Servais said. “He was in and then he was out and then he came in (to the clubhouse) and he looked good. I said, ‘Do you want to DH?’ and he said, ‘Yes, I’m good to go.'”
And then before game time, they decided to scratch Cruz again. He did all the pregame work, including taking batting practice. But he looked a little wiped out from the workout.
Reserves and relievers for Monday’s game vs. the White Sox