Regular season in doubt for Rays’ Kiermaier (hip)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier admits he could miss the rest of the regular season with a left hip injury after being moved to the 60-day injured list Saturday.

Kiermaier, a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder, hasn’t played since July 9. He is hitting .228 with 7 homers, 22 RBIs and 6 stolen bases in 63 games this year.

“Yeah, it is [tough to grasp],” Kiermaier said. “It hasn’t really hit me just yet. … For right now I’m kind of in that limbo, in-between period, but I think we will all know more here shortly.”

The earliest he could return from the IL is September. Kiermaier is scheduled to see a specialist in Nashville after the All-Star break. A surgical procedure hasn’t been ruled out.

“Just got to keep everything under wraps until a decision is made, and then we’ll go from there,” Kiermaier said.

The Kiermaier move cleared a roster spot for second baseman Brandon Lowe, who was reinstated from the 60-day IL after being out since mid-May with a lower-back injury,

“I’m not going to be back anytime soon, so this was the move that needed to be made, and I totally understand, agree with it ” Kiermaier said.

Lowe, who had 39 homers and 99 RBIs last year, hit .212 with five homers and 12 RBIs in 32 games this year before going on the IL.

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