Lakeland, Fla. — Manager Ron Gardenhire wasn’t wrong. He said the injury sustained by left-handed pitcher Travis Wood Thursday didn’t look good.
It was not.
An MRI revealed that Wood tore both the ACL and the medial meniscus in his left knee. The Tigers are mulling surgical options, but the injury will end Wood’s season.
“Heartbreaking,” Gardenhire said. “I’ve watched him pitch and I know what he can do. He’s a pretty good pitcher and he really knows how to pitch. People can learn from him. So it’s disappointing for us, but it’s devastating for him.”
Wood, the former Cub who was rejuvenated by being reunited with pitching coach Chris Bosio, pitched two scoreless innings Thursday, but he suffered the injury on the final out.
He snared a line drive and then got the runner on second in a rundown. As he made a sharp cut to back up the play at second base, the knee gave out.
It was his first and last outing of the spring. Typical recovery time for a torn ACL is eight-10 months.
“I will tell you this, he is game-on,” Gardenhire said. “He’ll get it taken care of and he will work his butt off, just like he did with the finger, to get back on the field. He’s got about as good an attitude as you can have in this situation.”
Wood, who was signed to a minor-league deal with an invitation to big-league camp, had just been cleared to play in games. Four weeks before pitchers and catchers reported, he had his right index finger broken and nearly severed by a crossbow malfunction.
Still, with somebody catching the throw-backs, he continued to maintain his throwing program.