Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Christian Yelich will not need surgery on his fractured right knee cap and will be out for eight to 10 weeks but will be ready for spring training, the Brewers announced Thursday.
On Thursday, Yelich released a statement on Twitter:
Christian Yelich @ChristianYelich
Thank You to all those who have reached out over the last couple days it means a lot. Frustrating way for a season to end but these things happen in sports. I will be just fine and am looking forward to making a full recovery and supporting the boys the rest of the season
While a six-week timeframe would almost surely mean Yelich will still miss the rest of the season barring a possible World Series run from a Brewers team that is still a half-game behind the Chicago Cubs for the final NL wild-card spot, this is welcome news for his 2020 campaign.
Had he needed surgery this late into the 2019 season, he may have been delayed at the start of next year. That would have been an even more difficult blow for Milwaukee considering he is one of the game's premier players.
Yelich won the NL MVP last year by slashing .326/.402/.598 with 36 home runs and 110 RBI and is right in the middle of the MVP race again this year with a .329/.429/.671 slash line, 44 long balls and 97 RBI. He is a primary reason the Brewers won the NL Central last year and are still battling for their playoff lives in 2019.
He suffered the injury during Tuesday's game when he fouled a pitch directly off his kneecap in the first inning. He remained on the ground for some time before limping to the dugout.
"First and foremost, we feel awful for Christian. This is a guy who's carried us in a number of ways over the last two years," general manager David Stearns said, per ESPN. "He could've [been] two and a half weeks away from a repeat Most Valuable Player award. So that's where our thoughts go first."
Ben Gamel started in right field for Milwaukee during Wednesday's 7-5 win over the Marlins, and Trent Grisham can play there if needed.
While replacing Yelich and still making the playoffs is a tall task for the Brewers, they can at least take solace knowing he will not need surgery following this setback.