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Yankees rookie Dustin Fowler injures knee in 1st inning of major league debut

New York Yankees outfielder Dustin Fowler had a memorable major league debut on Thursday, but for all the wrong reasons. In the first inning of his first game, Fowler suffered a knee injury that requires season-ending surgery.

With two outs in the bottom of the first inning, Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox lined a foul ball down the right field line that ended up in the seats. Fowler, in pursuit of the ball, ran full speed into the wall and almost immediately fell, as he couldn’t put any weight on his right leg.

Fowler had to be carted off the field.

The Yankees said the 22-year-old rookie suffered an open rupture of the patellar tendon in his right knee and would require immediate surgery, per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. With rehab expected to last at least six months, Fowler’s rookie season is over, almost before it began.

Fowler was called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre earlier on Thursday, after hitting .293/.329/.542 with 13 home runs, 19 doubles, and eight triples in 70 games in the International League. He also stole 13 bases.

His debut had already hit a snag thanks to Mother Nature, with a 170-minute rain delay that caused the start time of Thursday’s game to be delayed until 10 p.m. CT.

In his first game, Fowler was batting sixth, and the Yankees sent five batters to the plate in the top of the first inning. Fowler was due to lead off the second inning.

He didn’t even get to bat in his major league debut!

Before dooming him to Moonlight Graham status, let’s remember that Fowler is still just 22. Here’s hoping the next time he gets called up to the majors, he gets to stick around awhile and maybe even bat once or twice.