Buxton to miss Detroit games after getting injection in knee

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On Tuesday, Byron Buxton blasted a shoulder-level fastball from 11-0 Dodgers pitcher Tony Gonsolin 425 feet into the left-field stands at Dodger Stadium. It was the game-winning home run for the American League in the All-Star Game.

On Wednesday morning, Buxton took a different shot. This one was a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection into his injured right knee. And it'll keep him out of the Twins' opening series of the second half in Detroit.

Buxton has played the entirety of the Twins' 50-44 season so far with severe patellar tendinitis. He's played in 73 of the Twins' 94 games to date, as the Twins have given him regular days off to help manage the pain and eschew an Injured List stint. It's worked for the most part, as Buxton has smacked 23 home runs while manning center field or being the designated hitter.

Byron Buxton statistics

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said Saturday the PRP procedure has been an option for a while, but Buxton had no interest in doing it while the Twins were playing games. The Twins had an unusually long All-Star break, though, at five days, plus two more days off Monday and this week.

"We wanted to take advantage of some of those days," Baldelli said. "We also wanted him to be able to also play in that All-Star Game, too, which is a very, very special moment for any player, especially your first."

Buxton flew back to Minnesota from Los Angeles right after the All-Star Game and had the procedure early Wednesday morning. Baldelli said Buxton will likely return to the lineup when the Twins travel to Milwaukee for a two-game series beginning Tuesday.

The injection uses a player's own blood cells to promote and quicken healing. But Baldelli wasn't ready to call it a cure.

"We know Buck being off his feet is what helps him the most. The less pounding and banging and swinging and things like that, when he gets a break from that, it feels better," Baldelli said. "And then he can come out and do things on the field that he can't do when it's really, really bothering him."

Buxton said he has just "chilled" the past couple days. Baldelli said it's unsure whether rest alone will fix the problem, and the team has planned for several possible scenarios, including a surgery. But Baldelli said that decision won't come until the season ends.

"It's probably one of those things I'll have to deal with throughout the season," Buxton said. "I do stuff to kind of manage it now to relieve stuff. But for me, it's just win. As long as we win, I don't care. I can deal with it after."

The Twins have placed left-handed pitcher Caleb Thielbar on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to Tuesday, with a strained hamstring muscle. Yennier Cano has been called up from St. Paul. Cano is 1-0 with a 9.26 ERA in nine appearances with the Twins during two previous major league stints.https://www.startribune.com/sports/600192540