The Minnesota Twins decided Monday to shut top prospect Byron Buxton down for the rest of the season after the outfielder was hospitalized in his Double-A debut last week.
The center fielder was injured in Wednesday's New Britain game after he collided with right fielder Mike Kvasnicka when they both dove for a ball in the gap in the fifth inning.
Twins general manager Terry Ryan told MLB.com on Monday they plan to be cautious with Buxton's recovery over the final two weeks of the Minor League season. He also refused to commit to baseball's top overall prospect playing in the prospect-laden Arizona Fall League in October, saying it will depend on the progress he makes over the next six weeks.
"I would doubt it," Ryan said of Buxton returning to live game action before the season ends on Sept. 1. "They're on the road for 11 days and he's going to be in Florida and we still have to go through the protocol to get him cleared. So I don't think we're going to mess with it."
Ryan was at New Britain Stadium when the injury occurred, and he said at the time that Buxton was fortunate to only suffer a concussion. Buxton did not break any bones, but he remained on the ground around 20 minutes before paramedics applied a neck support and lifted him into an ambulance.
"He's stiff is what it comes down to," Ryan said. "He has some stiffness in the upper body around his neck area. But other than that, he's doing very well."
Buxton, who was hitting .234 across two levels at the time of the injury, is currently recovering at the team's Spring Training complex in Fort Myers, Florida, where the club's medical staff are monitoring his progress. Ryan told MLB.com his concussion symptoms "have been minor" and he "hasn't had any sensitivity to light or sound."
Buxton has been limited to just 124 at-bats this year. A wrist injury in Spring Training kept him on the disabled list until May 4, and just five games into his season, he was forced to miss another eight weeks after reinjuring the same wrist that originally kept him sidelined.
"It has been that type of year," Ryan said on Wednesday. "But he is going to be fine. He is a battler."
Ashley Marshall is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AshMarshallMLB.