The Royals awaited word Tuesday night on the status of their $7 million catcher.
Salvador Perez suffered an unspecified knee injury prior to a 7-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds while warming up starting pitcher Jonathan Sánchez in the bullpen at Surprise Stadium.
Club officials said the extent of the injury is not yet known.
“They’re checking him out now,” manager Ned Yost said in his postgame news conference. “I don’t really know what happened. He was down in the pen, and he came back and said he tweaked his knee.
“They checked it (on the bench). It was sore, but he could crouch. He went out for the first inning and came back in, and Nick (trainer Nick Kenney) said he wanted to take him up and check him. That’s the last I’ve heard.”
Perez exited the game with a noticeable limp. He was transported to a local medical facility for further examination that Yost said included a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test.
Results should be available today.
“I’m not going to overly concern myself until I hear what the deal is with him,” Yost said. “A lot of things at this time of year are precautionary. But, yeah, honestly, it’s a little bit of a concern.
“I don’t know the extent of it. I know it was sore, and they wanted to get him out right away and try to figure out what it was.”
The Royals signed Perez, 21, to a five-year contract extension on Feb. 27 that pays him a guaranteed $7 million. The deal includes club options for three additional years, for a potential eight-year package that could be worth as much as $26.75 million.
Club officials cited Perez’s endurance and conditioning as a factor in agreeing to a multiyear deal with a player whose big-league resume consists of just 39 games and 148 at-bats.
A serious injury to Perez would be the second this spring to a catcher on the club’s 40-man roster. Manny Piña underwent surgery after suffering torn cartilage on his right knee in a Feb. 22 session of live batting practice.
Veteran Brayan Peña is the only other catcher on the club’s 40-man roster.