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‘All he wants to do is play’: Buxton knee news ‘positive’

BOSTON — Given the Twins’ now-standard extra caution with Byron Buxton’s health — for example, flying into their own Minneapolis doctor this weekend to examine him — the fact that he remained on their active roster on Saturday says more about the outfielder’s condition than any press release.

“The initial exam was positive,” showing no structural damage to Buxton’s right knee, Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey said. “Our hope is that we don’t have to [place him on the injured list]. We want to avoid that if we can.”

It didn’t seem possible when a clearly distraught Buxton walked off the field on Friday after an awkward slide into second base, an accident that sparked knee pain and irritation in his mind.

“It was mainly because he was letting out some emotion because he knew he wasn’t going to be able to stay in this game,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “All he wants is to play.”

Even though he wasn’t in the Twins lineup on Saturday, he’ll likely get his chance on this week-long road trip. The Twins considered sending Buxton home to Minneapolis for further testing, but when the magnetic resonance image showed the knee was undamaged, they decided to summon orthopedic specialist Dr. Corey Wulf to Boston at the square. He took his own exam in the Twins clubhouse ahead of Saturday’s game, and Buxton also did some mobility exercises on his right leg.

“The plan is for [Buxton] to continue to be with us for the rest of the trip,” Baldelli said of the Boston-Kansas City trek. “Obviously if we found anything during testing we would make a roster change if it was appropriate. But we still didn’t think it was appropriate.”

Falvey said he feared the injury was a sprain at the time, but now it appears to be a pain, much easier to treat. “He probably had to deal with pain at times, but most of these guys are dealing with something [minor]”, Falvey said. “There was nothing significant.”

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