It was immediately apparent that Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis was shaken up by a hard slide by St. Louis Cardinals second baseman on Friday night. It wasn't clear until the next day just how seriously he may have been injured.
Ellis underwent emergency surgery on Saturday on his left leg on and is expected to be out for at least six weeks. But it could have been much worse.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Dr. Neal ElAttrache told Dodgers manager Don Mattingly on Sunday that Ellis could have lost his leg if the surgery had been done six or seven hours later.
The 34-year-old underwent a fasciotomy, in which surgeons drained blood and fluid from the leg that was applying severe pressure to the muscle. ElAttrache said that the muscle might have died if they didn't perform until several hours later.
In the top of the seventh inning of Friday's game against the St. Louis, Ellis tried to turn a double play but Cardinals second baseman Tyler Greene prevented the throw by taking him out on his slide. Ellis initially stayed in the game and even led off in the bottom half of the inning. But he was taken out in the eighth to get X-rays.
"Ellis is upended by a hard but thoroughly legitimate slide," was how Vin Scully described the action. Ellis is expected to stay in the hospital until Tuesday.
The Dodgers called up up infielder Ivan DeJesus to replace Ellis, who was placed on the 15-day DL. However, Elian Herrera started at second in L.A's last two games against the Cardinals. AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reported that Mattingly will determine who plays second base by "matchups, trends and hot streaks."
Through 37 games, Ellis had been batting .273 with nine RBI.