Salvy to return to game action Wednesday

All-Star catcher has recovered from knee injury suffered in Classic

Salvy to return to game action Wednesday

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals All-Star catcher Salvador Perez, recovering from inflammation in his left knee, is expected to return to game action Wednesday as the DH.

The Royals have an off-day on Thursday and manager Ned Yost said Perez then will catch Friday and play about six innings.

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"He's ready," Yost said. "It's not like he hasn't been catching. He's full go. He could catch all nine if he needed to."

Perez suffered the knee injury in a collision at home plate with Drew Butera on March 11 while playing for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. Butera was playing for Team Italy.

Yost also said shortstop Alcides Escobar, who played for Venezuela in the Classic, was expected back in Royals camp late Monday or Tuesday.

"I don't plan on playing him until after the off-day Thursday," Yost said. "He'll play Friday. Just wanted to give him a little bit of a break."

Whit's team

Merrifield on March Madness

Royals super-utility infielder Whit Merrifield, an alum of South Carolina, was understandably pumped about South Carolina advancing to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament.

Merrifield has South Carolina advancing to the Final Four in a few of his brackets.

"If they can just score a little, they're dangerous because of how well they play defense," he said. "I looked it up, and they were averaging about 61 points a game during the season. In two games they're averaging 90 points a game in the tourney."

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