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The Twins’ season came to an unceremonious end Wednesday with a two-game elimination against the Astros. The back-to-back AL Central champions could now see one of their key players go under the knife, as president of baseball operations Derek Falvey said Thursday that shortstop Jorge Polanco may need surgery as a result of right ankle problems, Aaron Gleeman of The Athletic and Phil Miller of the Star Tribune were among those to report.

“He battled every day, but he was not playing at full strength for a good chunk of the year,” Falvey said of Polanco, who missed just five of the Twins’ 60 regular-season games.

It was only a year ago that Polanco broke out as one of the majors’ finest infielders, slashing .295/.356/.485 with 22 home runs and 4.0 fWAR in 704 plate appearances. This year wasn’t nearly as successful – Polanco, 27, hit .258/.304/.354 with four HRs over 226 PA – but it appears his health (or lack thereof) played a role in his statistical decline.

Notably, Polanco underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle last November, though it doesn’t appear that procedure erased his issues. Falvey said the Twins “need to assess whether or not there is something else going on there that we need to address.”

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