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Tigers ponder rehab or surgery for Matt Moore’s knee injury

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The injured lefty faces a difficult decision in dealing with his recent injury.

Kansas City Royals v Detroit Tigers Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Matt Moore is facing a difficult decision between a rehabilitation or surgical approach to his injured right knee. The injury, officially reported as a “right knee sprain,” occurred on Saturday in the third inning of his start against Kansas City Royals, where Moore landed awkwardly on a comebacker from Billy Hamilton. Moore managed to finish the inning, but was seen escorted to the trainer’s room after leaving the field.

Moore is no stranger to injury. The eighth round selection by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 2007 draft has seen more than his share of time on the injured list after an extremely promising start to his professional career. Most notably, Moore underwent Tommy John surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow on April 22, 2015. His most recent injury prior to yesterday was a right knee sprain in May 2018 while pitching with the Rangers that resulted in a short stint on the IL. The current injury appears to be similar in nature to the previous one, which is not terribly encouraging news.

If Moore is out for surgery, he could miss about two months for a quick arthroscopic procedure, which employs a minimally-invasive approach to correcting the issue. If it is a full-blown meniscus repair, it is very possible that Moore will be lost for the entire season. Results from diagnostic imaging studies performed thus far have not been released to the public.

Before the injury, Moore had pitched three scoreless innings allowing only one hit and collecting three strikeouts against the Royals in his second start of the season. His line so far for 2019 reads 10 innings pitched, allowing three hits, no runs, walking only one batter, and striking out nine along the way.

Moore’s trip to the IL opens a spot for Daniel Norris to join the starting rotation, which could possibly be one of his last chances at living up to his potential with the Tigers. The mercurial lefty will fill in for as long as he can hold his own; one would expect at this point that his leash would be fairly short. Drew VerHagen has been recalled from the 10-day IL and is expected to join the team to take Moore’s place on the active roster.