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Kansas City Royals hope return of Hunter Renfroe and Michael Wacha bolsters club

It could have been worse for Royals outfielder Hunter Renfroe and right-handed starter Michael Wacha.

Both players suffered foot injuries that appeared to be more serious when they occurred.

But Renfroe and Wacha were back in time for the final leg of the Royals’ road trip, starting Friday at the Texas Rangers.

Renfroe, who suffered a bone bruise on his big left toe on June 10, was in the starting lineup, set to play right field.

Wacha suffered a left foot fracture on a comebacker against the San Diego Padres on May 31. He is expected to start for the Royals on Saturday.

“His rehab went well, he’s feeling good, and we’re lucky it’s as short term as it was,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “Assuming everything goes well today, he’s on track for (Saturday).”

Wacha’s injury happened on the game’s first batter, and he remained in the game for 5 1/3 innings. Earlier this week, Wacha made a rehab start, pitching four scoreless innings with the Royals rookie-level Arizona Complex League affiliate.

“It feels like it healed up pretty quick,” Wacha said. “And I was able to keep my arm in shape.”

The Royals feared Renfroe could be lost for at least eight weeks after he fouled two pitches off his toe against New York Yankees left-hander Carols Rodon on June 10.

Initially, the Royals had announced Renfroe had suffered a broken toe, but an MRI revealed two days later that Renfroe had a bone bruise and stress reaction, which would not require surgery.

Renfroe missed nine games.

“It still felt like a long time,” Renfroe said. “But it also felt like complete, utter relief it wasn’t worse.”

Renfroe looks to pick up where he left off. After a slow start, he hit .364 with a 1.097 OPS over his final 10 games.

“He was going good and really provided length in the lineup, not to mention his defense,” Quatraro said. “He makes us a better team for sure.”

In a corresponding move, catcher Austin Nola was optioned to Triple-A Omaha. He didn’t appear in a game since his recall last Saturday.