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June 27, 2009 at 6:17 PM

More on Adrian Beltre and his surgery

To recap, Adrian Beltre will play tonight, and then have surgery on his left shoulder to remove bone spurs. He had the same operation last Sept. 18, performed by Dr. Edward Khalfayan, the Mariners’ medical director. This surgery will be performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum, the Angels’ team orthopedist. It’s uncommon, but not unheard of, for bone spurs to return after being removed.
Jack Zduriencik mentioned that Beltre could be back in four to six weeks, but the Mariners’ medical staff has clarified that estimate, and say that a more realistic best-case scenario for Beltre’s absence is six to eight weeks. That would make his earliest return the middle of August if the surgery is conducted promptly.
Obviously, this means that Beltre, a free agent at the end of the season, won’t be traded — at least not by the July 31 non-waiver deadline. The more immediate question is who will play third. Zduriencik mentioned Chris Woodward and Jose Lopez as two options, but he was somewhat blindsided by the news and hadn’t had time to confer with manager Don Wakamatsu. Russ Branyan could be an option, but he’s not considered a strong defensive third baseman. Mike Morse has been playing some third base for Tacoma and hitting well (.307, nine homers, 50 RBI, ,365 on-base, .467 slugging).
Here is a transcript of Zduriencik’s comments:
“He’ll play tonight, and this will be his last ballgame. Rick (Griffin, the trainer) is going to call Dr. Yocum. We’ll try to do this as soon as possible.
“He feels very bad about it. He feels like he really likes what’s going on, he wants to be part of this thing. I wish I had 25 Adrian Beltres, the way he approaches the game, his makeup and intensity. But at the end of the day, he’s not 100 percent. It’s very similar to what happened last year. From what I understand — I’m not a doctor — there’s a 10 to 15 percent chance these things come back. Unfortunately, his came back.
“He’s going to have the same thing. It’s not career-threatening, which is great for him. If you look at the big picture, in four to six weeks (actually, six to eight weeks, as mentioned) we could have him back. That’s the positive. That’s what we think. We don’t know yet. There’s a chance he can come back before the year’s over.
“Like he said, ‘I feel bad, I want to play, I want to help the team. But being realistic about this, playing through this thing is so painful I don’t think I’m going to be much of an asset moving forward.’
“As you saw yesterday, there was a swing at the plate, he almost bent over when he reached for that ball. I’ve said this all along, he’s a tough kid. He’s a tough guy. For him to have to make this decision is tough for him. I respect it. I have a lot of respect for him and what he brings to the table. I don’t think he was left with any other alternative.
“It creates a dilemma, no question about it. The last couple of days, you lose Endy and you lose him. Two real vital parts of our ballclub. We’ll see as we move forward, but the one thing it does, it creates opportunities. As difficult as it is to lose key parts of your ballclub, it creates opportunities for other players. And guys have stepped up. Who knows where this is going to take us, but guys have stepped up. Guys have come through for us, guys have been given opportunities and have done a nice job. That’s about the best you can look at this thing.
“We’ve talked about it, preparing ourselves for if this happened. Obviously, you have Woody (Chris Woodward), and you could move Lopey (Jose Lopez) over there. Those would be the first two names that come to mind. They’re infielders, and they’ve both played over there a little bit. We’ll see as we move forward. I don’t have all those answers right now. I got the news 10 minutes ago.
“What I’ve said over and over again, his desire to play is tremendous. None of us can control what happens to our body physically. We do to a degree, but then we get certain things that go bad on you, and you need it taken care of. We were kind of bracing for this as a possibility. It’s unfortunate, but we’ll move forward, wish him the very best, and can’t wait to get him back.”

Comments | Topics: Chris Woodward

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