Any hopes that the injury Angels starter Garrett Richards sustained against the Red Sox on Wednesday wasn’t as bad as it looked have been dashed.
MRI results revealed that Richards suffered a torn patellar tendon in his left knee, the team announced on Thursday. The injury will cause him to miss the rest of the 2014 season.
The club placed him on the 60-day DL, and he is expected to miss six to nine months. Richards is slated to undergo surgery to repair the knee next week.
The news is potentially devastating for the Angels, as the 26-year-old has been the team’s best starter this season. He made 26 starts this season, going 13-4. His 164 strikeouts and 2.61 ERA both rank him in the top-8 in the American League.
He is the only Angels starter with an ERA lower than 3.00, and is tied with Jered Weaver for the team lead in wins.
Richards injured his knee while attempting to cover first base in the bottom of the second inning on Wednesday. As he reached first and turned to look for a throw, his left leg buckled and turned awkwardly as he went down to the ground, grimacing in pain as he was attended to by the Angels training staff and Fenway Park EMTs. He was taken from the field on a stretcher after his left leg had been immobilized.
The Angels were 75-50 entering Thursday, 1.5 games up on the Oakland A’s for first place in the AL West, having gone 8-2 over their last 10 games, while the A’s are 2-8 in that same span, to overtake Oakland for the division lead. The loss of Richards for the year will be a big blow to the club looking to make their first playoff appearance since losing to the Yankees in the 2009 ALCS.