Royals Catcher Salvador Perez Suffers Knee Injury at WBC

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2017

ZAPOPAN, MEXICO - MARCH 11: Salvador Perez #15 of Venezuela tags out Drew Butera #09 of Italy in the bottom of the seventh inning during the World Baseball Classic Pool D Game 3 between Venezuela and Italy at Panamericano Stadium on March 11, 2017 in Zapopan, Mexico. (Photo by Miguel Tovar/Getty Images)
Miguel Tovar/Getty Images

Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez suffered a knee injury in Venezuela's 11-10 victory over Italy in the World Baseball Classic on Saturday.

As seen in the following video courtesy of MLB's official Twitter account, the injury occurred on a play at the plate when Royals teammate and Italy catcher Drew Butera fell into Perez's knee:

Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball reported the initial diagnosis appears to be inflammation, and he is expected to be OK. Venezuela's official team account announced an MRI revealed no structural damage, per Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com.

Venezuela manager Omar Vizquel said after the game that Perez was set to undergo testing, according to ESPN.com: "The update on Salvador Perez is he's got a loose knee, and he's got to go to the clinic and have some X-rays done to see if everything is going to be fine with him. So he's a question mark right now."

Per ESPN's Marly Rivera, Perez reportedly reached out to the Royals to tell them the injury isn't severe.

Perez was enjoying a strong game prior to being removed, as he was 2-for-4 with one home run, two runs and two RBI.

The 26-year-old is among the best catchers in baseball with four consecutive All-Star appearances and Gold Gloves to his credit, as well as a World Series MVP nod in 2015.

Last season, Perez hit a career-high 22 home runs to go with a .247 batting average and 64 RBI.

If Perez misses additional time in the WBC, Robinson Chirinos is in line to see the bulk of the innings for Venezuela behind the plate.

Should his ailment impact Perez's availability for the MLB regular season, Butera will be forced into service for the Royals.