Former Indians slugger Napoli suffers career-threatening injury

CLEVELAND (AP) — Former Indians slugger Mike Napoli will undergo season-ending knee surgery after getting hurt in the minors.

Napoli sustained a torn right anterior cruciate ligament earlier this week while playing for Triple-A Columbus. The 36-year-old will have the operation once the swelling in his knee goes down, and the Indians said that could take as much as two weeks.

The injury is career threatening for the 36-year-old, who had his best season in 2016 when he helped lead the Indians to the World Series. Napoli set career-highs with 34 homers and 101 RBIs for Cleveland and was invaluable as a clubhouse leader for manager Terry Francona.

The Indians signed Napoli to a minor league deal this winter and brought him to training camp. But Cleveland didn’t have a roster spot for him after signing first baseman Yonder Alonso as a free agent.

Napoli played with Texas last season and won a World Series with Boston in 2013.