Exactly a week ago in Oakland, Calif., Royals outfielder Jorge Soler walked out of the trainers' room in the visiting clubhouse at Oakland Coliseum with a boot on his left foot.
He had fouled a ball off the foot and bruised the big toe. He was going to be fine, just needed a few games off to heal.
On Friday at Kauffman Stadium, he finally felt well enough to enter the field again.
But six innings into his first defensive start since the foul-ball incident, Soler was removed from Friday's game because of a fracture of the left first metatarsal.
The Royals don't yet know the extent of the injury but believe it is unrelated to what happened last week in Oakland. A CT scan on Saturday will determine the Royals' next move.
But this fact remains: Soler, in his first full season playing at the major-league level with the Royals after being acquired from the Cubs in a December 2016 trade of reliever Wade Davis, used crutches to cross the carpet of the clubhouse here after the game. He gingerly made his way in and out of the showers, careful not to place much weight on his left foot.
Soler postponed commenting on the injury — which he sustained as he tripped running out of the batter's box in the sixth inning on Friday — until he and the Royals receive a diagnosis. But the outlook might not be so great.
"If your feet hurt, it’s gonna be a while, so I’m not sure," manager Ned Yost said. "We don’t think it’s a surgical thing right now but the scan will give us more."
After stumbling through a disaster of a campaign in his first year with the Royals organization, Soler had made progress both in the field and at the plate. He'd tapped into his power, clubbing nine home runs and 18 doubles this season. He's driven in 28 runs and drawn 28 walks. He has struck out 69 times but he has also amassed a .354 on-base percentage that is second on the team. His .265 batting average is second only to Whit Merrifield.
Now the chances of Soler getting through a full season healthy — Soler started the 2017 campaign on the disabled list because of an oblique strain — are in jeopardy.
"It was really fun watching him develop a little bit," Yost said. He had ups and downs but generally more ups than downs."