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Dodgers star Max Muncy exits with apparent arm injury, likely to miss playoff tilts

The Los Angeles Dodgers will open the playoffs without their leading home run hitter.

Max Muncy exited Sunday’s regular season finale cradling his left arm after he and Milwaukee’s Jace Peterson collided at first base.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that Muncy underwent X-Rays and other testing on his left elbow and the results were “unclear.” Roberts described it as “very unlikely” that Muncy would be available for the one-game wild-card elimination game against the Cardinals on Wednesday night or for a potential NLDS against the Giants.

“We’re going to see how he responds the next few days and see where that takes us,” Roberts said. “I’m not going to close the door on Max, but right now it certainly doesn’t look great.”

The injury occurred in the top of the third inning after Peterson hit a slow dribbler in front of home plate. The combination of a tailing throw from Dodgers catcher Will Smith and Peterson running inside the baseline put Muncy in harm’s way.

Smith’s throw hit Peterson in the back as he careened into Muncy’s outstretched glove hand. The first-base umpire called Peterson out for interference as Muncy lay flat on his back on the ground writhing in pain.

Muncy received an ovation from the Dodgers crowd when he sat up and another as he walked off the field. Albert Pujols entered the game in place of Muncy, who is hitting .250 with a Dodgers-best 36 home runs and 94 RBIs this season.

Muncy’s injury could not come at a worse time for the Dodgers with the playoffs until three days away. The reigning World Series champs tied a franchise record with 106 victories but finished a game behind the high-flying Giants and had to settle for a wild card.

With Muncy out, there’s a chance Pujols could get the start at first base Wednesday night against longtime Cardinals teammate Adam Wainwright. Or the Dodgers could turn to Cody Bellinger and hope he can break out of a season-long slump in October.

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