Second MRI confirms no damage to Salvy's left knee

All-Star catcher was hurt during collision at plate in Classic

Second MRI confirms no damage to Salvy's left knee

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The second MRI conducted on Royals All-Star catcher Salvador Perez's injured left knee came back as clean as the first one conducted in Mexico -- no structural damage, just inflammation.

Perez said Wednesday morning in front of his locker that the knee felt fine and that he was certain to be ready for Opening Day.

"Of course. You think I'm going to miss Opening Day?" Perez said. "I don't think so."

Perez suffered the injury Saturday while playing for Venezuela in Jalisco, Mexico, in Pool D of the World Baseball Classic. Perez's backup catcher with the Royals, Drew Butera, who was playing for Italy, collided with Perez on a play at the plate.

Perez had to be helped off the field.

"I wasn't scared," Perez said. "Not like I had to worry about anything, because I didn't hear it pop or anything."

Italy ties it in 9th, Perez hurt

There is no definitive time table for Perez's return, manager Ned Yost said. And actually, while Perez's knee is fine, Yost said Perez hyperextended his left elbow on the same play.

"The elbow will keep him out longer than the knee," Yost said. "Probably about seven days or so. We'll see."

Perez and Butera have had several conversations since the incident, including one Tuesday morning.

"He apologized again, but he didn't have to," Perez said. "It's part of the game. You play hard, I play hard. For some reason, it happened."

Butera was aware he took a lot of criticism on Twitter.

"I won't say anything about that," Butera said. "You just have to laugh off what people say.

"It was a weird play. The ball was overthrown and I was trying to go outside. And then the throw back to him brought him back up the line. I tried to stop."

Butera is just relieved Perez turned out all right.

"He's obviously a great teammate, a great friend," Butera said.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.