Over the weekend, it appeared the Red Sox had lost one of their bright young players for an extended period of time due to injury. Outfielder Andrew Benintendi took an awkward step on the basepaths and his left knee buckled. He had to be helped off the field.
Here's the play if you haven't seen it:
That doesn't look good, and understandably, the Red Sox were fearing the worst. That looked like a potential ACL tear or some other sort of structural damage.
That isn't the case, however. On Friday manager John Farrell told reporters, including Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald, that Benintendi did not suffer any structural damage in his knee, and he might even be able to return this season. From Drellich:
"Think back and look at the video, this could have been much much worse," manager John Farrell said Friday of Benintendi's base-running injury Wednesday night against the Rays in Florida. "Lucky that the ACL was not involved. So we're still optimistic that he could return this season.
"It's an interruption. He's been quickly embraced by this team. ... We're gonna miss him. At the same time, I think we've gotten a lot of good news here today.
It goes without saying the Red Sox will play it safe with Benintendi. Don't expect to see Boston rush his rehab in an effort to get him a few at-bats next month. He's too important to the team long-term to risk more serious injury.
Benintendi, 22, zoomed through the minors after being the seventh overall pick in the 2015 First Year Player Draft. He is hitting .324/.364/.485 (120 OPS+) with home run in 21 big league games since being called up last month.