Indians’ Josh Naylor breaks ankle in frightening collision


CLEVELAND — Indians outfielder Josh Naylor will need surgery after breaking his right ankle during a frightening collision with Cleveland second baseman Ernie Clement.

Naylor smashed into the rookie in the fourth inning Sunday in Minnesota. Naylor was sprinting toward a shallow pop in short right when he hit Clement as the players were trying to make the catch.

The Indians said Naylor has a “closed” fracture and dislocation.

Naylor spent the night at a hospital in Minneapolis. He’ll travel to Ohio on Monday and will be evaluated at the Cleveland Clinic this week by foot/ankle specialist Dr. Mark Berkowitz, who will schedule surgery.

The team did not provide a timetable for Naylor’s return.

The impact with Clement spun Naylor, whose right foot was planted awkwardly. Naylor immediately reacted in pain, rolling around and pounding his fists into the grass. His leg was placed in an air cast and the 24-year-old was carted off the field on a stretcher.

Naylor, who was acquired by Cleveland last year in a trade with San Diego, has been steady contributor for the Indians this season. He’s batting .253 with seven homers and 21 RBIs and made several big defensive plays.

Naylor’s injury is the latest for the Indians, who have been overrun with medical issues but are just 2 1/2 games out of first in the AL Central.

The club is also without reigning Cy Young winner Shane Bieber (shoulder), starters Aaron Civale (finger) and Zach Plesac (thumb), slugger Franmil Reyes and Gold Glove-winning catcher Roberto Pérez (finger).

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