When head athletic trainer Kevin Rand told Leyland in the middle of Game 1 of the American League Championship Series that Ordonez was done with a re-injury to the right ankle he fractured last year, it hit the veteran skipper hard.
"He's got to be down in the dumps," Leyland said Monday morning. "There's a lot of emotion that's going on with the Magglio situation right now, obviously, for all of us. My heart aches for him. From a selfish standpoint, No. 1, he was swinging well. And who knows, maybe that's why the first time up, maybe he couldn't even push off then? I don't know.
"My heart aches for the guy. I talked to him last night. The poor guy's in a boot. It breaks your heart, but what are you going to do?"
For now, it appears Ordonez will remain with the team for the ALCS as a spectator, either in the dugout or in the stands. Rand said Ordonez is scheduled to visit with foot/ankle specialist Dr. Arthur Manoli once the team returns home to Detroit. They club will send the results of the exam to a couple other doctors and determine the best course from there, which almost certainly will be another surgery.
The fracture is in the exact same place as the last one. Because the first break was vertical, rather than horizontal, the wear and tear of running and putting weight on the foot didn't help the healed fracture. Instead, the stress almost worked to slip it apart.
Rand said Ordonez didn't feel the fracture on any one particular incident. Ordonez felt some soreness during pregame batting practice, but he didn't feel serious pain until the game. Once the first of two downpours stopped the game, Ordonez went to Rand.
"Whenever he pounds down on it, it's like a split," Rand said. "He's got screws holding that, and the fluid in his joint pushing up has separated that, caused it to be separated again."
It took Ordonez nearly a full year after the first surgery to play like his old self. He'll now have to decide whether he wants to go through that rehab process again. He'll turn 38 years old next January, but his play down the stretch made him look far younger, so he knows the rewards if it works.
Before the injury, Leyland said, Ordonez had indicated to him and the team that he planned on playing next year.
"I asked him at one point this season, 'Do you plan on playing next year?' And he said, 'Yes,'" Leyland said. "Since then, it might have been Dave Dombrowski that he told. He was talking about maybe playing another two to three years. But I was not involved in that.
"Now, what this will do, I don't know."