Fernando Tatis Jr. left wrist fracture

PEORIA, Ariz. — Talk about a brutal way to start Padres camp.

Superstar shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. fractured his left wrist during the offseason and will miss up to three months, with the injury likely to require surgery, general manager AJ Preller said on Monday.

The exact origin of the injury is unclear, though Tatis noted he first felt it flare up while taking swings about a month ago. Doctors think it’s likely that Tatis had injured his wrist prior to that flareup, though he says he only felt it when he began to ramp up for the season.

“It’s terrible,” said Tatis, speaking on Monday during the first full day of Padres camp. “I feel like everybody’s disappointed, especially me. I feel like we have a pretty good chance this year as a team, and I just want to be out there for my teammates.”

Tatis was involved in a minor motorcycle accident in December, but it’s unclear if the two are related. He said he suffered “bumps and bruises,” but his wrist largely felt OK afterward.

The Padres, of course, will take a serious hit without Tatis, their perennial MVP candidate who batted .282/.364/.611 with an NL-leading 42 homers and was worth a 6.6 bWAR last season.

It seems unlikely that the Padres would address Tatis’ absence by making a move. They feel they already have a number of quality in-house candidates, including Jake Cronenworth and Ha-Seong Kim. Notably, top prospect CJ Abrams was impressed during camp as well.

“It’s obviously a hit,” said new Padres manager Bob Melvin. “But it gives somebody else an opportunity. … We signed Kim for a reason last year. He’s going to get a great opportunity here. Cronenworth can play there. We’ll see where we are with Abrams down the road, too. Somebody will be out there.”

Tatis’ injury is the latest blow in a series of ailments for the star shortstop, who will now have missed significant time in three of his first four seasons. In 2019, he dealt with a back haul that ended his season in mid-August. Last year, Tatis experienced four separate shoulder subluxations, and he landed on the injured list twice because of them.

Tatis opted not to have surgery on his shoulder in the offseason, noting that his strengthening exercises have paid off. He believes that injury has fully healed.

“Shoulder is in a perfect situation,” Tatis said.

The wrist, of course, is a different story. Tatis said that he and the Padres haven’t finalized the decision to have surgery. Team doctors are still evaluating the nature of the injury.

“It looks like it’s headed for a surgery,” Preller said. “He’s got some more tests in the next couple days. But it looks like most likely it’s surgery here later this week to repair the fracture. We’ll see where it goes. That fracture usually can be up to three months of recovery time. He’s obviously been a quick healer with some injuries in the past.”

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