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Edinson Volquez's return to the Royals is unclear after father's death

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Originally slated to pitch in Game Five, Volquez may not be able to go.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Edinson Volquez may not be able to return to the World Series for his scheduled start on Game Five, following his father's death. Volquez was told about his father's death immediately after his Game One start on Tuesday, then traveled to the Dominican Republic to attend the funeral. Volquez vowed to return with the team when the series headed to New York, but his availability may now be in question.

Volquez said he would return to the U.S. on Friday or Saturday. ''But I don't know if I'll be ready for that appearance,'' he said.

What Volquez seems to be saying is that while he will be physically able to return to New York to rejoin the team, his emotional state may make it difficult to keep his scheduled start, which would be Sunday evening, if necessary. Manager Ned Yost, for his part, did not seem concerned.

''Last thing Eddie told the guys last night when he left is, 'I'll see you in New York,''' Kansas City manager Ned Yost said before Game 2 Wednesday night. ''I expect Eddie to be there and ready to go for Game 5,'' he said.

If Volquez was unable to go, the Royals would likely start Kris Medlen, who was fairly effective for the Royals this season with a 4.01 ERA in 58 1/3 innings, including a 3.00 ERA over his last five starts. Medlen was originally going to be the Game Four starter in the ALCS, but was replaced by Chris Young after Young's impressive relief performance against Houston in Game One of the ALDS. The other option would be to pitch Johnny Cueto on three days rest, but that prospect is unappealing considering Cueto's playoff struggles on the road. Of course the ideal situation would be if Game Five was not necessary because the Royals sweep the Mets.

Edinson Volquez has a 4.37 ERA in four post-season starts for the Royals this year, with the team going 2-2 in his starts. He is the third Royals player to lose a parent this season. Earlier in the year, third baseman Mike Moustakas lost his mother and pitcher Chris Young lost his father.