New York Yankees utility man Matt Carpenter says he hopes to return this season after suffering a broken left foot in Monday's game against the Seattle Mariners.
"I don't want to say a number because I just don't know, but I'm holding out hope that it'll be a situation where I could come back in the middle of September and can contribute towards a stretch run," Carpenter said, per Marly Rivera of ESPN. "So we'll see. I mean, that's my mindset is that I'll be back."
Carpenter was injured in the first inning when he fouled a Logan Gilbert slider off his left foot. He remained in the game to finish the at-bat, a strikeout, before realizing his injury was more severe than he initially hoped.
"When I went to swing on the next pitch, as soon as I started to plant and rotate on that back foot, my lower body like gave out and I wasn't able to," Carpenter said. "Thankfully, probably the best thing that happened was to swing and miss — because if I hit it and had to run, I might have made it worse. But I knew it wasn't good."
Tim Locastro came into the game and finished it out as the Yankees' designated hitter.
Carpenter was in the midst of an out-of-nowhere return to All-Star-level form. The 36-year-old hit .305/.412/.727 with 15 home runs and 37 RBI during his first 47 games with the Yankees after signing in late May. He had failed to make the Texas Rangers' Opening Day roster and was languishing in Triple-A before being released in May—a move that allowed for his career resurgence.
Coming into Monday, he was seemingly a mortal lock to win AL Comeback Player of the Year. Carpenter hit below .200 in each of his final two seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals and had only seven home runs in his final 180 games with the franchise.
The rejuvenated Carpenter's impact has carried beyond his on-field brilliance.
"I have no doubt in my mind that [Carpenter] is going to still make an impact on this team even while he's hurt," Yankees starter Jameson Taillon said. "He's come in here right away and made an impact on a lot of people. He's not afraid to talk pitching with the pitchers. He's not afraid to give honest feedback. He's one of the best guys that I've been around and played with, so I wouldn't be surprised if he finds his way back and makes an impact."
Carpenter has played all over the field since his arrival, serving as a designated hitter, outfielder, first baseman and third baseman. The Yankees will likely use a committee approach to replace him in the lineup.