Lawrie avoids major injury after taking scary fall

Lawrie avoids major injury after taking scary fall

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays finally received some good news on the injury front after Brett Lawrie escaped major harm despite falling into the camera well in Wednesday afternoon's rain-shortened 6-0 loss at Yankee Stadium.

Lawrie fell approximately six feet onto a concrete floor while attempting to make the catch and also had his right leg hit an unprotected metal pole on the way down.

The 22-year-old was immediately sent for X-rays, which came back negative and ruled out any possible break. Lawrie was instead diagnosed with a right calf contusion, and he's currently listed as day to day.

"It's sore right now, just a little stiff, it just felt like someone took a bat and crushed me in the back of the leg," Lawrie said. "It's like a stiff Charley Horse right now, it will be all right.

"That took most of the pain, everything else was fine for me. It hurt, but that took the pain away from everything else."

With the Yankees holding a 4-0 lead in the third inning, Lawrie was attempting to make a catch on a popup from Mark Teixeira in foul territory when the scary incident occurred. He was tracking the ball by the railing and tried to make a leaping catch into the camera well.

As Lawrie cleared the rail, the ball bounced off his glove and he attempted to brace the imminent fall by grabbing the rail with his right hand. That caused Lawrie's body to twist in the air, and as he began to fall into the camera well, his right leg slammed against an uncovered metal railing.

"I saw him go down and then I heard a loud crash," Teixeira said. "You really worry about a guy's head, neck and back. You never want to see somebody get hurt on a play, especially when you hit the ball. You kind of feel somewhat responsible when you hit a ball and a guy gets hurt on the play. I heard that it's just a contusion. I'm glad nothing was seriously injured."

Toronto manager John Farrell, trainer Hap Hudson and several Blue Jays players immediately sprinted over to Lawrie's aid.

"I just wanted to get to the rail, and I felt like it was going to come back, I thought the ball was coming back, and it did," Lawrie said. "As soon as I got to the point of no return, I just went right over and unfortunately caught my foot on top of that rail and banged myself up a little bit."

Lawrie wasn't quite aware at the time just how deep the camera well is. Most stadiums have spots for cameras that are level with the playing field, but Yankee Stadium has a drastic drop.

That caught Lawrie off guard as he tumbled a lot farther down than he was originally intending to. Considering how steep the fall was and the fact that Lawrie's right leg slammed into a metal pole, he's lucky to have escaped without a major injury.

"When you take a fall to that extent, you are always fearing the worst," said Farrell, who was initially concerned Lawrie suffered a broken leg. "With the violence in which he went over the rail, sure that thought creeps in your mind. Particularly how he was feeling when you got to the moment and the place where he was at.

"He couldn't put any pressure on it. He was in considerable pain, but thankfully he has come out of it the way he has so far."

"Scary," said Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero. "Just tells you the kind of player he is. He goes 100 percent every time, no matter what the situation is, and he's a tough son of a gun. It was pretty loud when he landed, and I was just hoping he didn't do some serious damage. Fortunately for us he's going to be all right."

The fact that Lawrie survived the scare without a major setback comes as a welcome change for an organization that has been decimated by injuries for the past two months.

Slugger Jose Bautista is out at least until the beginning of August after injuring his left wrist during Monday night's game against the Yankees. That came on the heels of losing starters Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison within the span of five days in June.

Toronto also has pitchers Sergio Santos, Dustin McGowan, Luis Perez and Jesse Litsch on the 60-day disabled list with various injuries. Lawrie avoided that, and although he may have been overly optimistic, the native of British Columbia said he hopes to play on Friday in Boston.

"I hope to, that's what I'm shooting for," said Lawrie, who was wearing a protective sleeve over his right leg after the game. "We'll just have to see how it feels [Thursday], ice it all day, treat it and see what happens."

Lawrie, who went 0-for-2 on Wednesday, is hitting .278 with eight home runs and 34 RBIs in 87 games this season. The Blue Jays are currently carrying an eight-man bullpen, which leaves just three position players on the bench.

That will have to change by Friday if Lawrie's status is still up in the air. Farrell indicated that it's likely the Blue Jays will have to make a roster move in order to ensure the team has enough depth to handle any games that could be missed.

"At this point, it looks like he will be able to avoid it," Farrell said of the disabled list. "We have the off-day tomorrow. We'll evaluate where he is at, see if he is going to be capable on Friday. At a minimum, we might be looking to add another position player in the event that he is still day to day come the weekend series."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.