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Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier out 12 weeks with thumb injury

Kiermaier tore a ligament Sunday in Tampa Bay’s game against the Phillies.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier will miss about 12-13 weeks after tearing a ligament in his right thumb, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Kiermaier suffered the injury sliding into second base Sunday.

Kiermaier will undergo surgery on the thumb this week and start rehabbing, according to Topkin, and will be sidelined through at least June and possibly July. His injury is the latest in a series of unfortunate events for the Rays, who are 3-12 and lost both Brett Honeywell and Jose De Leon to Tommy John surgery during spring training.

Kiermaier was off to a very slow start at the plate, hitting just .163 with one RBI and one steal in 12 games. A defensive star, Kiermaier was one of the more recognizable remaining faces on a Rays club that traded away Evan Longoria, Jake Odorizzi, Steven Souza and Corey Dickerson while losing Alex Cobb to free agency before the season.

With Kiermaier out, the Rays will utilize Mallex Smith, Denard Span and Carlos Gomez as its primary outfielders with Johnny Field, Daniel Robertson and Jeremy Hazelbaker serving as depth options. The club could also scour the free-agent market or make a trade to find a temporary replacement.