This is a concerning setback for Fowler, especially since he went on the disabled list last year with a hamstring injury and played just 125 games. He entered Thursday's contest slashing .218/.298/.386 with four home runs in his first season with the Cardinals.
Fowler made his first All-Star Game last season and helped the Chicago Cubs win the World Series with a slash line of .276/.393/.447 and 13 home runs. The Cardinals signed him with the hope he could serve as a defensive anchor in center field and jump-start the lineup with his combination of timely hitting, power and speed.
They will have to turn elsewhere until Fowler returns and could move Randal Grichuk from left to center. That would leave Jose Martinez and Matt Adams as candidates to play left field.
Those players can keep the Cardinals afloat in the short term, but Fowler is one reason they are playoff contenders this season in a difficult National League Central that includes the Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates. St. Louis needs him back and healthy to fulfill its potential in 2017.