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Huge blow for Rays! They lose star player to surgery

The Tampa team's season goes from bad to worse

Kevin Kiermaier knew something was wrong with his right thumb. Monday morning, his concerns were validated when it was learned he had a torn ligament.

The Rays' star center fielder is expected to be out three months. Kiermaier's surgery has not yet been scheduled, but he has been placed on the 10-day disabled list.

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To take his place on the active roster, Tampa Bay is recalling right-hander Chih-Wei Hu from Durham.

X-rays of Kiermaier's thumb were taken on Sunday, and those were negative. Kiermaier had an MRI on Monday that diagnosed the problem.

Kiermaier singled to left with one out in the first inning of Sunday's 10-4 loss to the Philles and broke for second after left fielder Rhys Hoskins bobbled the ball. Kiermaier slid headfirst into the base, and he came up shaking his right hand.

"The hand just kind of got caught in the ground," Kiermaier said. "Thumb went in a weird angle. Just one of those things where I felt like I had the chance to over slide the bag, like I've done a couple of times in my career. And I was just trying to hold on.

"I don't know if that's what made my thumb go in the angle that it did. I thought I jammed it right from that moment, but I didn't like the way my thumb felt after that."

Johnny Field, who joined the team from Triple-A Durham over the weekend, took Kiermaier's spot in center field on Sunday. Options for the Rays in center field going forward include Field, Mallex Smith and Rob Refsnyder.

By Bill Chastain | MLB.com