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Ex-Cub Jorge Soler, now with the Royals, breaks foot leaving batter’s box

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 08: Jorge Soler #12 of the Kansas City Royals reacts after hitting a foul ball off his foot against the Oakland Athletics during the second inning at the Oakland Coliseum on June 8, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 775136191

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Royals outfielder Jorge Soler will miss at least six weeks after breaking a bone in his left foot while leaving the batter’s box in Kansas City’s series opener against Houston.

Soler had provided some much-needed punch to a struggling Kansas City offense, batting .265 with nine homers and 28 RBIs. He has been especially crucial while fellow outfielder Jorge Bonifacio finishes off his 80-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance.

The Royals’ Triple-A affiliate in Omaha is on a West Coast trip, making it impossible to get anybody to the ballpark in time for Saturday afternoon’s game against the Astros. The Royals will place Soler on the disabled list and make a corresponding roster move before Sunday’s series finale.

“It’s very tough. He was very disappointed, very upset last night,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He knew something was wrong. He was putting together a really, really good, solid year where he’s getting a chance to play every day and was doing some nice things.”

The Cubs traded Soler to the Royals in December 2016 in the deal that brought closer Wade Davis to the Cubs. Soler played in eight postseason games, including two in the World Series, for the Cubs in 2016.

Soler’s injury occurred in the seventh inning of the Royals’ 7-3 loss on Friday night. He stumbled out of the batters’ box and crumpled to the ground before limping to the dugout, and an X-ray revealed a fracture in the first metatarsal on his left foot, just behind the big toe.

Yost said a CT scan showed the break isn’t big enough to warrant surgery at this time, but Soler will be evaluated again in about 10 days to determine the next course of treatment.

Also Saturday, Yost said Lucas Duda will begin his rehab assignment Sunday with Omaha. The first baseman has been out since May 14 with plantar fasciitis in his right foot.

Bonifacio could be ready to rejoin the club on July 1.