First tests on Santana's knee 'good' after violent impact at plate

Watching his leg bend the wrong way on a violent play at the plate, it looked like Cleveland Indians catcher Carlos Santana(notes) was headed for the worst of outcomes.

That he didn't get up at first only made the knot in your stomach grow a little bigger and tighter. And having Santana carted away at Fenway Park with his leg immobilized in an air cast ... you didn't have to be an Indians fan to be overcome with dread.

Visions of Joe Theisman breaking a leg on Monday Night Football, or Robin Ventura's wrecked ankle dangling during spring training — horrible injury memories — made watching Santana even more uncomfortable.

But the first tests with trainers were encouraging and the Indians are hopeful their prized rookie has not sustained significant damage to his left knee. He will undergo an MRI and other tests in Cleveland on Tuesday, manager Manny Acta said.

So, some holding of the breath is still appropriate for a player called "the flower" of the Indians farm system. It could have been worse.

Via the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

"He tested well with the trainers," Acta said. "They feel that he doesn't have any serious damage on his PCL or ACL. Right now we're calling it a knee contusion. Once the MRI comes out we'll have more.

"But once again, the tests looked good."

Good. They barely had enough time congratulate Santana on making a great play to help the Indians win 6-5. After a single in the seventh inning, he caught a throw from outfielder Shin-Soo Choo(notes), used his left leg to block Ryan Kalish(notes) of the Boston Red Sox from scoring, and held onto the ball after a violent impact.

Watch the play, but be warned — it is ugly

As a result, to be saddled with a season-ending injury, or worse, would not have been fair.

Pitcher Fausto Carmona(notes) reached Santana first.

"I grabbed the ball to make sure the baserunner didn't go to second," Carmona said. "Santana wasn't talking. But I'm so happy he made that play."

Santana had been knocked head over heels. He also lost a shoe after his spike briefly had been stuck in the ground. Losing the shoe might have been the thing to save his knee.

Santana has been a beacon of hope for the Indians, who have shipped off stars such as Cliff Lee(notes), CC Sabathia(notes) and Victor Martinez(notes) in the past several seasons. Just 24, Santana has been a dominating hitter at times since coming up in June. To see him make the All-Star team next season would not be surprising.

"He’s a good player. I feel so bad," Choo said.

Hopefully, it won't be so bad after the test results come.

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