LOS ANGELES -- All-Star shortstop Trevor Story is expected to return from an elbow injury "in a few days," Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black said, a positive turn of events for a team that at one point feared the worst with one of its best players.
Story felt tightness in his right elbow while making a highlight-reel play in the first inning of Monday's game against the division-rival Los Angeles Dodgers, then exited after experiencing a sudden rush of pain while swinging in the top of the fourth.
But an MRI on Tuesday morning revealed that Story's ulnar collateral ligament is "intact" and that there is "no structural damage" to his joint, according to Black. At this point, Black added, Story is merely dealing with inflammation and soreness that the team hopes to "quiet down."
The Rockies initially feared the possibility of Tommy John surgery, which would end Story's season and possibly jeopardize his availability for 2019. But Black said the team was "encouraged as the night went on and with some of the tests that we did just in the training room and how Trevor was feeling this morning."
"It's a relief, for sure," Black said. "You don't like to see that -- at any time, let alone now."
The Rockies, in search of their first division title, are only a half-game behind the Dodgers with 12 remaining, including Tuesday's matchup against Clayton Kershaw.
Story has been a major part of the Rockies' ascension, contributing a .288/.343/.550 slash line, 33 home runs and 26 stolen bases from a premium position. Story spoke to the media prior to learning the MRI results, but said he "felt a lot better" when he awoke this morning.
"I really try to be as positive as I can be," Story said. "I feel good about it."
Story was out of the lineup on Tuesday -- replaced by Garrett Hampson -- and isn't expected to be available for Wednesday's series finale against the Dodgers, the team his Rockies are currently chasing in the National League West. The Rockies will be off on Thursday, then begin a three-game road series against the Arizona Diamondbacks before finishing the regular season with a seven-game homestand.
"We're a good team," Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado said. "Not having one of our best players obviously hurts, but we have some guys who can really step up and guys who haven't really gotten going yet. Hopefully we can get some guys going. We have to pick up the slack, in a way."