The Chicago White Sox, who are already without Eloy Jimenez because of a ruptured pectoral tendon, lost another outfielder to a long-term injury.
General manager Rick Hahn told reporters center fielder Luis Robert cannot participate in baseball activities for at least 3-4 months because of a Grade 3 hip flexor strain. The team is considering surgery or rest for the complete tear, and the earliest he could return to baseball activities is August.
This is a significant blow to the White Sox's playoff hopes considering everything Robert brings to the table.
He won the Gold Glove last year as an elite defensive center fielder. He brings speed to the basepaths, can hit for average and has power that helped him launch 11 home runs in 56 games during the shortened 2020 campaign.
Robert is slashing .316/.359/.463 in the early going this season.
The 23-year-old suffered the injury during Sunday's loss to Cleveland when he beat out an infield single in the first inning. Leury Garcia shifted to center field, while Adam Eaton replaced Robert and played right field after the injury.
James Fegan of The Athletic reported Hahn said he will explore the trade market as the team looks to replace Robert in the lineup but pointed out how difficult it will be to find someone who can replicate the center fielder's overall skill set.
Chicago is 15-12 on the season and 1.5 games behind the Kansas City Royals in the American League Central.