KANSAS CITY -- An MRI showed Royals All-Star and Gold Glove outfielder Alex Gordon suffered a Grade 2-plus strain of his left groin and he will be out eight weeks, manager Ned Yost said Thursday.
Yost said Royals trainers could not distinguish if the eight-week estimate meant healing time or time before Gordon could be back playing. Gordon was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday, and the Royals recalled left-hander Brandon Finnegan.
"You can't say definitely he will be playing in eight weeks," Yost said. "If he heals faster, it will be sooner. But in our timetable in our minds, it will be eight weeks.
"We just have to see how his recovery and his rehab goes. To think it would be under eight weeks is probably unrealistic. But it could happen. But a 2-plus is pretty severe."
Gordon suffered the injury Wednesday night when Tampa Bay's Logan Forsythe lined a ball to the left-center field gap. Gordon collapsed to the ground while in pursuit as he reached the fence. As he lay face down in obvious pain, he continued to tap the ground with his right leg while Yost and the team's trainers ran to his aid.
Forsythe wound up with an inside-the-park home run.
"He had his left leg kind of twisted, so when he jumped, he kind of torqued [the groin] because he wasn't landing straight on," Yost said. "His steps were off-center, so then boom, it just popped it."
Gordon said as he was having the MRI exam Wednesday night, he kept thinking, hoping, his strained groin would only keep him out three or four or maybe five weeks at the most.
"But it comes back at eight weeks," Gordon said after Thursday's game, an 8-3 Royals win over Tampa Bay. "It's frustrating. Hopefully I can come back quicker. That's my goal."
Gordon wasn't sure, either, if the eight-week estimation was healing time or time before he would resume baseball activities.
"I have no idea," he said. "I have never torn a muscle before. I don't know what lies ahead. The next few days, I'll just take it easy, ice it. We just go week by week."
But Gordon expects to be back contributing to the Royals before the season is over.
"I hope so," he said. "With my wrist [surgery] earlier this year, they told me four to six weeks, and in my mind I thought I would come back quicker, and I felt like I did. This is a different injury, though."
Gordon knew immediately something was drastically wrong on the play.
"I kind of knew what was wrong," Gordon said. "When I was running after the ball at the last second, I felt the pop [in the groin]. When that happened, I tried to stay on my feet and brace and that's when you saw my leg give out."
Gordon said he wasn't sure yet if he would attend this year's All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile. He was voted in as a starter. This could be the second straight All-Star Game he will have to miss -- last year a wrist injury kept him out.
"We'll just go and figure it out," Yost said. "Right now, Dyson and Paulo can handle it.
"Dyson will step up. Paulo will step up. [Alex] Rios will step up. It is what it is. We just have to find ways to deal with it. Nothing we can do about it. It could have been a lot worse. It didn't require surgery. If it was higher up in the groin, it would have, but that was not the case."
In the first inning, with Tampa Bay's John Jaso on first, Dyson made an over-the-shoulder catch of Grady Sizemore's drive with his back to the infield, then turned to throw to shortstop Alcides Escobar, who relayed the throw to first baseman Eric Hosmer to double up Jaso.
Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.