Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco won’t return in 2018 after sustaining multiple injuries during Friday’s 5-3 win over the Marlins. According to an official report from the team, Polanco is dealing with a “significant bone bruise” in his left knee and a left shoulder injury, the severity of which has yet to be disclosed as they seek a second opinion. He’ll be sidelined for at least 6-8 weeks to deal with the knee injury alone, which puts his estimated return date well past the end of the regular season.
The incident responsible for Polanco’s injuries occurred during the sixth inning of Friday’s game. The outfielder returned an 86.5-MPH slider into right-center field for a double, but jumped into a slide to avoid the tag from Starlin Castro and hurt his knee and shoulder on the landing. He had to be helped off the field and was later replaced by pinch-runner/outfielder Jordan Luplow in the right field corner.
This is the first major setback Polanco has dealt with all season. He’ll finish the year batting .254/.340/.499 with 23 home runs, an .839 OPS, and a career-high 2.5 fWAR across 534 plate appearances. The silver lining? While he will likely require a lengthy period of rest and rehabilitation before he’s cleared to resume his post in the Pirates’ outfield, there’s nothing to indicate that he won’t be ready to go by the start of spring training in 2019.