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June 27, 2009 at 5:54 PM

Beltre to undergo surgery; tonight is his last game

NOTE: Though Jack Zduriencik said that Beltre’s best-case return date was four to six weeks, the Mariners’ medical staff has clarified that estimate, revising his absence to six to eight weeks.
Jack Zduriencik just confirmed that third baseman Adrian Beltre will have surgery on his ailing left shoulder. Beltre is playing tonight, but trainer Rick Griffin is in the process of calling Dr. Lewis Yocum in the Los Angeles area to set up an operation to have bone spurs removed from Beltre’s shoulder. He tried to play through it, but as anyone who read yesterday’s comments from Beltre could tell, it was a losing battle.
“He doesn’t think he’s helping the team like this,” Zduriencik said. “Adrian’s a tough kid. For him to have to make this decision is tough for him, and I respect it. I don’t think he was left with any other alternative.”
The Mariners are hoping for a best-case scenario in which Beltre is out for four to six weeks, but Zduriencik admits he doesn’t know for sure how long he’ll be out.
“There’s a chance we can have him back before the year is over,” he said.
Looking forward, Zduriencik said he doesn’t know yet who will fill in at third. He had just found out the news, because Beltre had been unable to locate him before heading out to batting practice.
“This creates a dilemma,” he said. “It’s tough, especially after just losing Endy Chavez. But one thing, it creates opportunity.”
Zduriencik mentioned Chris Woodward and Jose Lopez as possible fill-ins.
“Those are the first two names that come to mind,’ he said. “Right now, I don’t have those answers.”
Beltre is on the field and won’t be reachable until after the game, but he told the Tacoma News Tribune, “It’s everything — the way I feel every day. It would be different if I was helping the team, but I’m not.”
He had said Friday that his shoulder feels like he’s being stabbed every time he lifts it.

Comments | Topics: Chris Woodward

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