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Garrett Richards carted off the field after gruesome knee injury

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

Garrett Richards' breakout season for the Los Angeles Angels is in jeopardy after a gruesome left knee injury sustained Wednesday night against the Boston Red Sox.

Richards, the team's best pitcher, was running to cover first base in the second inning when his knee buckled. He tumbled to the ground and lay in agony while trainers huddled around him. He was on the ground for about eight minutes before being carted off the field on a stretcher. 

From the stretcher, Richards signaled to his teammates and to the Red Sox fans who applauded him, as he was taken to the clubhouse. Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com says it's a a patellar injury. 

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(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

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(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Here's more from Gonzalez's column:

"It doesn't look too good for him," Weaver said. "He's been our guy all year. He's been that guy you count on to get deep in games and pull out a victory. To have something like that happen is obviously a crushing blow to any team. Our thoughts and prayers are with him, and hopefully it doesn't turn out as bad as everyone thinks it is."

As of midnight ET on Wednesday, the Angels at least know it's a "serious injury." That's the term Angels manager Mike Scioscia used constantly when asked specific questions about Richards' left knee after his team's bittersweet 8-3 win over the Red Sox.

Richards, 26, has turned into the Angels' ace this season. He's 13-4 with a 2.61 ERA. He's tied for third in the AL for wins and has the fifth best ERA. The Angels' rise this season to become one of the best teams in baseball wouldn't have happened without Richards.

For the moment, the Angels are in first place in the AL West, dethroning the A's earlier this week for the top spot in the division. If the Angels were to lose Richards for the season, and that's very much a possibility given what we saw on the field, it would severely hurt their chances to win the division and be a force in the postseason.

Keep in mind, the Angels already lost another of their starting pitchers, Tyler Skaggs, to Tommy John surgery last week

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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