Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier: ‘I’ll be back, better than ever’

DETROIT — Rays centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier said Wednesday that surgery on his left hip went well, he is feeling great and excited about returning to play in 2023.

“I am so excited about the thought of being healthy moving forward,” Kiermaier said in a video posted to his Twitter account. “It has been an absolute grind what I’ve played with this last year and a half, and I just want to let everyone know that I’ll be OK.

“… I will be back on that field next year better than ever.”

What’s not known is where Kiermaier, 32, will be playing. He is in the last guaranteed year of the six-year, $53.5 million contract he signed in March 2017, with the Rays fully expected to give him the $2.5 million buyout rather than exercise a $13 million option.

Quick post surgery update! Thank you @RaysBaseball fans and everyone else who has reached out wishin me the best! pic.twitter.com/pwM6lRsF1s

— Kevin Kiermaier (@KKiermaier39) August 5, 2022

And they did just trade for their apparent centerfielder of the present and future in Jose Siri. Whether Kiermaier and the Rays can work something out for him to return in a different role will play out during the offseason.

For now, Kiermaier, who returned Thursday night from Nashville to his Tampa home, said he will focus on his rehab. He didn’t share any details over what was involved in the surgery or a timeline…

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