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09/19/08 12:25 AM ET
Season over, Beltre has surgery
Third baseman expected healthy for '09 after two operations
By Jim Street / MLB.com
OAKLAND -- It was two-for-one day at the hospital for Mariners third baseman Adrian Beltre. Beltre, who decided on Sunday to end his season two weeks early, underwent a pair of surgeries in Seattle on Thursday. He had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder to remove bone spurs and also had ligament replacement surgery on his left thumb. Mariners medical director Edward Khalfayan performed the shoulder surgery, and Carlton Keck and Khalfayan collaborated on the thumb surgery to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament. "Both procedures were very successful," Khalfayan said. "We expect a rehabilitation timeline of approximately three to four months." Beltre played his final game of the season on Sunday against the Angels. He finished his fourth season as a member of the Mariners with a .266 batting average, 29 doubles, one triple, 25 home runs and 77 RBIs in 143 games. The triple came in a game against the Rangers that made Beltre the fourth player in franchise history to hit for the cycle. Beltre, an American League Gold Glove Award winner last season and a potential repeat winner this season, ended his season on a 15-game hitting streak, and his absence has been felt. The Mariners have lost eight straight games heading into a three-game series against the Athletics that begins on Friday night. Beltre played with the torn ligament for nearly two seasons. He suffered the injury on May 31, 2007, while diving for a ball hit near the third-base line, missed a few games, came back at far less than 100 percent, resumed playing and ended up missing just 13 games all of last season. Beltre thought the injury would heal with rest, but it never did and the damage was found during an MRI exam taken last December. Rather than have surgery and miss the first month or so of this season, Beltre played on. Another MRI exam, taken on Sept. 8, confirmed that the tear was still there, and Beltre contemplated several days as to when to have the surgery. He is expected to be completely healthy in time for Spring Training.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.