CHICAGO (AP) — New York Yankees outfielder Dustin Fowler was set to have surgery on his right knee Thursday night after being carted off the field following a crash into a wall in the first inning of his major league debut.
The 22-year-old Fowler started in right field against the Chicago White Sox. He slammed into the short sidewall near the corner trying to catch Jose Abreu’s foul ball with one out. Fowler calmly tried to stand and walk after hitting the wall, but his right leg buckled twice before he sat down on the warning track and waited for help.
Fowler had an open rupture of the patellar tendon in his right knee, the Yankees said. He was scheduled to have surgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
The training staff attended to Fowler with manager Joe Girardi and distraught teammates looking on. After speaking briefly with Fowler, a dismayed Girardi leaned back and put both hands on his face, then called for a cart.
The rookie had his right leg stabilized, was lifted onto a cart and taken off the field. He was replaced by Rob Refsnyder.
Fowler’s injury followed a 2-hour, 50-minute rain delay. He was set to lead off the second inning for his first big league plate appearance.
Fowler was called up Thursday after the Yankees put first baseman Tyler Austin on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. Fowler hit .293 with 13 homers at 43 RBIs at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and was selected to play in the International League All-Star Game.
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