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Mariners OF Kyle Lewis
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Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto: ‘Prolonged absence’ expected for OF Kyle Lewis

Mariners OF Kyle Lewis landed on the 10-day injured list with a right knee injury. (Getty)

The Mariners’ lineup took a big hit this week with the news that starting center fielder Kyle Lewis was placed on the 10-day injured list with a partially torn meniscus in his right knee.

Related: Mariners OF Kyle Lewis to IL with meniscus tear

Lewis, the 2020 American League Rookie of the Year, has had his fair share of issues with his right knee during his professional career.

Lewis missed roughly three weeks to start the 2021 season due to a right knee bruise he suffered in spring training. And in his first pro season after being drafted, Lewis tore ligaments, including his ACL, in his right knee and later had arthroscopic surgery to clean up the area around his patellar tendon and remove a piece of bone that was causing irritation.

Lewis started the 2021 season slow but had come along of late. Through 36 games, Lewis is slashing .246/.333/.392 with five home runs and 11 RBIs. He also has a 25.2% strikeout rate, which is lower than his 38.7% mark in his brief 18-game debut in late 2019 and a 29.2% rate in 58 games in the shortened season last year.

Now, the partially torn meniscus in that right knee will again sideline the talented young outfielder. Lewis suffered the injury while leaping for a fly ball in center field on Monday. He was removed from the game after that inning.

Mariners manager Scott Servais told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake Heaps, Stacy Rost and Shannon Drayer on Tuesday that the tear Lewis suffered was small and it was unclear what the next steps were. Servais told media members on Wednesday that Lewis was getting a second opinion after receiving the results of his MRI and that the center fielder was upset at being injured yet again.

On Thursday, we got another update on Lewis’ injury, this time from general manager Jerry Dipoto, who joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant for the weekly Jerry Dipoto Show.

Regardless of how long Lewis is expected to be out of action, Dipoto told Danny O’Neil and Paul Gallant that the organization will be cautious in handling the injury.

“Much like we experienced coming out of spring training, anything we do with Kyle we’re going to make sure that we’re hypersensitive to the needs,” Dipoto said. “We want him to have a long career here in Seattle and to thrive.”

Dipoto didn’t have a specific timeline in mind for Lewis getting back to playing baseball again, but he doesn’t think that will be in the near future.

“My guess is that is going to result this time in a bit of a prolonged absence,” he said. “I am hopeful that we’ll see him again this year on the field but I don’t think it’s going to be quick. We’re going to take our time and identify how we can help, and Kyle needs to make some decisions on what he wants to do. Again, I don’t think this is going to be days and weeks, I think it’s going to be longer than that.”

Catch The Jerry Dipoto Show every Thursday at 8:30 a.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant. Listen to the latest edition at this link or in the player below.

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Danny and Gallant Show