Oct 29, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon hits a RBI double against the San Francisco Giants in the second inning during game seven of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
According to Jamal Collier of MLB.com, Alex Gordon underwent surgery to repair the extensor retinaculum of his right wrist, a large ligament that holds much of the muscles and tendons of the hand in place. The article states that Gordon has been experiencing irritation since before the 2014 All-Star Break. Collier reports that the surgery was successful.
An extensor retinaculum strain is predominantly caused by frequent hyper-extension of the wrist and, having watched Gordon smash into every surface possible on a baseball field, it’s not surprising that his wrist paid a price. He made two amazing diving catches in June that may have contributed to his injury. His productivity started slipping after June 21, when he topped out with an .840 OPS.
Gordon re-aggravated the injury during his winter training sessions and opted for surgery to prevent future problems. Royals trainer Nick Kenny is quoted as saying, “We asked him to come to Kansas City after the holiday for an evaluation and it was determined he needed to have this repaired now to avoid any further complications and any delay in his start to the upcoming season.”
The news is both good and bad. The surgery may have permanently corrected an issue that has been irritating Gordon for half the year. It may increase his already high productivity. Alex should also be ready for opening day, which is invaluable. Without him, the Royals don’t stand much of a chance at competition.
The bad part is that the entire outfield now has health concerns. If he isn’t fully recovered before opening day, this type of injury to the right wrist saps the power from lefties. If further complications are not curbed, Alex is in for a very long and painful 2015. Gordon is the steadfast veteran of the outfield and has not played less than 149 games in a season since 2009 (including minor league games). With the recent nagging ankle and thumb injuries to newcomer Alex Rios and Lorenzo Cain‘s fragile anatomy, Gordon’s wrist surgery is an unwelcome development.