Royce Lewis ‘not very optimistic’ about groin injury, but not for the reason you think

After leaving Tuesday’s game early, Royce Lewis didn’t mince words about how the Twins might handle his injury.
Minnesota Twins star Royce Lewis didn’t mince words after leaving Tuesday’s game against the Tigers with a groin injury.
Minnesota Twins star Royce Lewis didn’t mince words after leaving Tuesday’s game against the Tigers with a groin injury. / Alika Jenner/GettyImages
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For the second time this season, Minnesota Twins fans had to watch in agony as Royce Lewis was removed from a game.

This time around things might not be as serious as they were back in March, when he left Opening Day with a right quad strain and didn’t return until June. Lewis exited Tuesday’s win over the Detroit Tigers with what the team is calling groin tightness but the man himself seems to be taking things much harder than that.

Lewis has been vocal about how much he dislikes the way the Twins have treated his injuries in the past. It’s not that he hasn’t gotten proper treatment, it’s that the cautionary approach the team has taken to making sure he gets healthy has bumped up against his desire to play no matter what.

He pushed back on the Twins during the process of treating his quad injury, and it’s to the point where he admitted the team doesn’t tell him things because they’re afraid he’ll push himself too hard. We saw that right away in his first rehab game when he stole a base — twice — even though he wasn’t given a green light to do so.

Now that he’s hurt again, Lewis is already throwing his hands up and preemptively getting frustrated with the Twins before they even decide what to do.

Royce Lewis had an absolutely devastating reaction after suffering another injury

After the game, Lewis spoke to the media and dropped an H-bomb of a quote that is going to get taken way out of context. He noted that he’s “not very optimistic”, which is the bit that everyone is latching onto but he’s not saying it for the reason you’d think.

Twins beat writer Dan Hayes added the context that most are going to overlook. Lewis wasn’t saying that he thinks his injury is serious, rather he’s worried that the Twins will get overly cautious and place him on the IL which will cost him more games.

To be fair, putting Lewis on the IL and shutting him down until after the All-Star Break might be in the best interest of the Twins. He’s been absolutely mashing since returning to the lineup last month, but that’s of no use to Minnesota if he’s unable to produce when it truly matters in October.

Of course, the Twins need to get to the postseason first, which is still slightly out of reach for them as the summer months press on. The long-term health of Lewis is far more important than him helping win a few games right now, something the Twins managed to do without him even if it was sporadic success.

Lewis might not like it, but the best path forward might be to ensure he’s healthy for the long run at the expense of some games now. Putting him on the IL would also open up a path for Brooks Lee to make his debut, which also could set up some great long-term pieces on the board for Minnesota.

Nothing will be determined until Lewis undergoes further testing, but it’s notable that he’s already throwing his hands up at what the team might do before anything happens. Lewis is a highly competitive guy which comes across in his lack of tact when talking about his true feelings, but the fact that there seems to be animosity growing is something to keep an eye on.

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