D-backs All-Star A.J. Pollock set for surgery on elbow

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks have lost one of their best players to a serious injury two days before the opening of the regular season.

All-Star center fielder A.J. Pollock fractured his right elbow with a headfirst slide into home plate in the Diamondbacks' 7-4 exhibition victory over the Kansas City Royals on Friday.

Manager Chip Hale said Pollock would need surgery, and there was no timetable for his return. Hale said the club will know more on Saturday, after the severity of the break is determined.

"We feel awful for A.J.," Hale said. "We're a family. It's like one of your family members taken away from you right now."

Pollock, in the major league lineup for the first time since he was sidelined with a sore elbow early in spring training, held his arm in obvious pain as he left the field. He did not come out onto the field to start the fourth inning.

"With his [earlier elbow] injury, he had one thing we worried about was him diving headfirst, putting his hand down when he landed," Hale said. "There was too much stress there."

Pollock had been hampered by right elbow soreness since early March and mostly saw at-bats in minor league and intrasquad games. At one point, Hale said Pollock could start the season on the disabled list, but Pollock got enough at-bats in the past week to deem him ready for Opening Day on Monday against theColorado Rockies.

Pollock, 28, is coming off an All-Star season in which he hit .315 with 20 home runs and 76 RBIs.

"Next man up will have to perform," Hale said of the team's attitude. "We'll move some guys around."

Socrates Brito will be the likely replacement for Pollock, but Chris Owings played some center late in the game.

Pollock's injury came in Arizona's five-run third inning. After he doubled, Pollock took third on Paul Goldschmidt's single, then started home on David Peralta's bouncer to second baseman Omar Infante. Pollock stopped, then went home when Infante threw home and evaded the tag with the throw up the third base line.

"If he goes feet-first, he'd be OK," Hale said, "but the problem is the way the play played out. If he goes feet-first, he might have gotten his leg broke by the catcher. It's just unfortunate."

Pollock fractured the same elbow in spring training in 2010 and missed the entire season.

Said Arizona closer Brad Ziegler on Twitter:

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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Pollock fractures right elbow on headfirst slide at home
Pollock fractures right elbow on headfirst slide at home
Diamondbacks All-Star A.J. Pollock will require surgery after fracturing his right elbow while sliding into home plate in an exhibition game against the Royals.

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