Indians’ Naylor set for surgery after horrific leg injury


CLEVELAND — Indians outfielder Josh Naylor sustained multiple leg fractures and torn ligaments in his violent collision with rookie second baseman Ernie Clement during a game Sunday in Minnesota.

The team said Naylor visited foot and ankle specialist Dr. Mark Berkowitz at the Cleveland Clinic on Wednesday. Berkowitz confirmed the diagnosis and scheduled surgery for Friday to address the severe injuries.

A more definitive time frame for Naylor’s recovery will be made after the operation, but he’s likely to miss the rest of 2021.

Naylor’s foot got trapped underneath him after he charged in and slammed into Clement while the teammates tried to catch a fly ball in short right field. Upon impact, Naylor was sent sprawling and his lower leg was bent back awkwardly.

The Indians were visibly shaken by Naylor’s injury, the most serious and one of many to affect Cleveland this season.

Clement said it was difficult seeing “one of my brothers” get hurt. Clement, who needed stitches in his chin after the incident, said he was inspired by text messages he got from Naylor on Monday as the Indians bounced back with a 13-5 win over the Detroit Tigers.

The 24-year-old Naylor has been a solid contributor this season for the Indians, who acquired him as part of a six-player trade last year from San Diego.

Naylor played right field and first base and was batting .253 with seven homers and 21 RBIs before getting hurt. Beyond his stats, his aggressive playing style and fiery personality have made him a fan favorite.

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