Fernando Tatis Jr. injury update: Padres star expected to be activated ahead of series vs. Dodgers

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San Diego Padres star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.’s injured shoulder has healed enough that he’s expected to come off the injured list on Friday, manager Jayce Tingler told reporters on Thursday. That would mean Tatis would be back in the San Diego lineup for the opener of the big weekend series against the NL West rival Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park. Tatis is in line for the go-ahead after a promising batting practice session on Thursday. 

Tatis has been sidelined since April 5 after injuring his left shoulder during an at-bat. Tatis went down in obvious pain in the third inning after swinging and missing on an Anthony DeSclafani breaking ball. He stayed down for several seconds while being attended to by the team trainer and then walked off the field while clutching his left arm. 

Initially, fears abounded that Tatis would require surgery or at least a lengthy absence. Thus far, though, it appears that worst-case scenarios have been avoided. That said, Tatis’ performance after coming off the IL bears monitoring, since his front shoulder at the plate is central to deriving power from his swing. 

The 22-year-old Tatis is coming off a stellar 2020 campaign in which he finished fourth in the NL MVP balloting. This season, he was off to a slow start prior to the injury with a slash line of .167/.286/.333 and one home run in five games. This past offseason, Tatis signed a $340 million contract extension, which cements him as a near-, mid- and long-term core member of the resurgent Padres. 

As for the near-term, the Padres are aiming to compete with the reigning-champion Dodgers for the NL West title in 2021. Lucky for San Diego, it appears they’ll have their cornerstone back in the lineup for their first head-to-head matchup with the Dodgers this season.

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