Rays hopeful Franco can play Opening Day after 'favorable' MRI

An MRI on Tampa Bay shortstop Wander Franco's right quad Sunday returned "favorable" results, Rays manager Kevin Cash told the Tampa Bay Times.

Tampa Bay remains optimistic that Franco will play Thursday, when the Rays open the regular season against the Detroit Tigers.

Franco, 22, hit .277 with six home runs and 33 RBIs last season as Tampa By returned to the postseason, one of three teams in the American League East to do so.

"He will not play [Monday in a spring training game], obviously," Cash told the newspaper. "So, we've got three days to treat him. I don't think anything's been decided. We're optimistic that if we can get this thing treated the right way, we should be in a spot where he's good to go."

Franco has had his share of injuries in the early going of this career. Last year, he spend two months on the injured list because of a right hamate bone injury that required surgery.

While he was on a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A, working his way back from surgery, his timeline was paused when he experienced a sore hand.

"Three days off in a row for him. Maybe get him out there that last day and take [batting practice] and see how he feels, but I'm pretty optimistic," Cash told the newspaper.

In November 2021, Franco agreed to an $182 million, 11-year contract after he finished third in AL Rookie of the Year voting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.