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June 26, 2009 at 6:13 PM

More on Adrian Beltre’s shoulder injury

Adrian Beltre, who hit 48 homers for the Dodgers in 2004, sat in the visitors dugout today and talked to several members of the L.A. media. The Seattle press corps snuck in some questions, too, about his ailing left shoulder. To be frank, it doesn’t sound promising. Beltre is clearly gutting it out here, but he’s having significant pain from bone spurs. The frustrating part for Beltre, of course, is that he had surgery at the end of last season to remove bone spurs, and now they’re back.
“I expected it would be fixed,” he said. I didn’t know I would have it back. You don’t expect to have an injury come back when you have surgery. Now they’ve told me 10 to 15 percent of people that have that (surgery), it can come back again. I’m so lucky I was one of those guys.”
Asked when he first began to experience the problem this season, he said, “I never was 100 percent. I knew it would take time, but it was gradually coming and coming. I was just trying to not think about it. The last three weeks, it’s really gotten my attention.”
The feeling, he said, “is like someone stabbed you in the shoulder,” and it happens every time he has to lift his shoulder. As a third baseman or a hitter, that’s pretty much unavoidable. Eventually, he’s going to need another operation, but right now Beltre wants to keep trying to play. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that his trade value is now severely compromised, with the prospect that he might not make it through the season. An operation would knock him out for a significant amount of time. But he’s going to do all he can to avoid surgery.
“We’re playing good, and I want to be part of something that might be special,” he said. “We might get to the playoffs, who knows. I don’t know how worse it will get, if I can play with it. That’s something I have to find out. I don’t know exactly how much longer I can handle it. Right now, I’m seeing how long I can handle it. If I can last the whole year, I might play the whole year with it.”
Here’s what manager Don Wakamatsu said about Beltre playing through his shoulder problem:
“He’s a tough guy. By reputation, I knew that coming in here, that it was awfully hard to get him out of the lineup no matter what. I know he has played off and off with his shoulder and it has gotten worse. Yesterday was a good day for him. I think he’s going to have good days and bad days. Hopefully, we can massage it. It’s nice having an off-day going into New York. The All-Star break is around the corner. I hope we can manage it where he gets a little time. Right now, my understanding is he has some inflammation in the bursa sac. If we can calm that down, then the impingement won’t be as bad and he can play with it. We’ll see.”

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