Carlos Correa exits Twins’ opener at Detroit with right oblique injury

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The season is only 11 games old and already the Minnesota Twins potentially are without three stars.

Carlos Correa exited Friday night’s game in Detroit early with a right oblique strain, which leaves his immediate status in doubt. Correa appeared to grab his right side during a third-inning strikeout and Willi Castro took over for him at shortstop in the bottom of the inning.

The Twins already are without star closer Jhoan Duran, who’s been out since mid-March with a Grade 2 oblique strain, and budding star Royce Lewis, who suffered a severe right quad injury on Opening Day.

Though Duran reportedly is on the mend, throwing a bullpen in Detroit on Friday with another scheduled for Tuesday, losing Correa would be a huge blow to a Twins offense struggling to score early in the season.

With a healthy Byron Buxton, Lewis and Correa, the Twins entered the season with high expectations. Through their first 10 games, the Twins scored only 29 runs and miss Lewis, who homered in his first at-bat of the season and singled in his second, exiting the March 28 contest after hurting himself running the bases on Correa’s RBI double to left.

Correa is off to a strong start, hitting .308/.432/.444 with one home run and four RBIs in 44 plate appearances. He’d looked markedly better this season from a health standpoint after playing with plantar fasciitis in his left heel for the bulk of the 2023 campaign. Correa struggled at the plate throughout the season after experiencing the foot injury in mid-May but refused to go on the injured list until the team clinched the American League Central in late September.

Sidelined since Opening Day, Lewis said Wednesday it would take six weeks for his quad muscle to properly heal.

The Twins also are awaiting the return of their No. 2 prospect, Brooks Lee, who started the season on the IL at Triple-A St. Paul with a back strain. Had he been healthy, Lee, whom The Athletic’s Keith Law has ranked as the No. 31 prospect in baseball, likely would have been promoted when Lewis went down. Instead, the Twins promoted prospect Austin Martin.

(Photo of Carlos Correa: Matt Krohn / Getty Images)

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