Angels' Dexter Fowler to Undergo Surgery for Knee Injury Diagnosed as Torn ACL

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVApril 11, 2021

DUNEDIN, FLORIDA - APRIL 09: Dexter Fowler #25 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts after being injured while sliding into second base during the second inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at TD Ballpark on April 09, 2021 in Dunedin, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Angels announced Sunday the knee injury that outfielder Dexter Fowler suffered during Friday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays was diagnosed as a torn ACL.

Fowler will undergo surgery with a recovery timetable of six-to-nine months, which likely rules him out for the remainder of the 2021 MLB season.

The Angels acquired the 2016 All-Star in a February trade with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Fowler recorded five hits in 20 at-bats with three runs scored through seven appearances to open the 2021 campaign. He's in the final season of a five-year, $82.5 million contract and will become a free agent in the offseason if he doesn't sign an extension with L.A.

The 35-year-old Atlanta native was a highly effective player from 2009 through 2017, a nine-year run that included stops with the Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs and Cardinals. He accumulated 19.8 WAR over that span, including a career-high 4.0 WAR with the Cubs in 2016, per Baseball Reference.

His numbers dropped off in 2018, however, and he ended that season on the 60-day injured list because of a foot injury.

Fowler wasn't able to rediscover his prior top form over the past two years, though he did bounce back to play 150 games with a modest .754 OPS for the Cards in 2019.

The 6'5'' switch-hitter was expected to serve as the Angels' everyday right fielder throughout 2021. That task will now fall on the shoulders of Juan Lagares, though prospect Jo Adell could be called up to compete for playing time, among other options.

"It opens up to move things around a little bit," manager Joe Maddon told reporters. "Dex was really coming on. I think we'll see [Jose] Rojas facing some righties. So it'll be a little bit of all kinds of concoctions right now."

L.A. finishes its series with the Blue Jays on Sunday before heading to Kauffman Stadium for a three-game road set with the Kansas City Royals.