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09/27/09 7:45 PM ET
McGehee to see specialist for right knee
Surgery may be required; DiFelice to visit Dr. Yocum
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- Breakout Brewers third baseman Casey McGehee should get a better idea Monday whether he'll need offseason knee surgery, and he's not the only banged-up Brewer set to spend the team's final off-day at the doctor's office.
McGehee was to travel Sunday night to Denver ahead of the rest of the team to see a specialist for answers about his aching right knee. Reliever Mark DiFelice, meanwhile, departed separately for Los Angeles, where he has a Monday morning appointment with noted orthopedist Lewis Yocum for another opinion on his injured right shoulder.
McGehee, who is in the middle of a torrid September and is being pushed by the Brewers as a National League Rookie of the Year candidate, has been playing on a sore right knee for at least three months. He has been extremely hesitant to discuss it, but broke his silence on Sunday morning.
"We've been able to manage it pretty well," said McGehee, crediting head athletic trainer Roger Caplinger and assistant trainer Dan Wright. "We've done everything it takes to make sure I'm available every day. But we're getting down to the end and we have to get it re-evaluated to see where we're at and know exactly what we need to do going into the offseason."
No surgery is scheduled yet, McGehee said. His ailment has been described as tendinitis, but McGehee was not sure that was an accurate label.
"I don't know what the terminology of it is," McGehee said, "But I do know that we're not talking about ACL, MCL or meniscus tears. There's no torn tendons or anything like that. In my mind, it's just sore. I'm just waiting to see what these guys say, and we'll go from there."
Entering the Brewers-Phillies series finale on Sunday, McGehee ranked third in the Majors with 24 RBIs in September, and he was batting .306 with 15 home runs and 64 RBIs. McGehee led all NL rookies in RBIs, ranked second in batting average, third in home runs, fourth with a .367 on-base percentage and fifth with 20 doubles. His .508 slugging percentage ranked second among NL rookies to Pittsburgh's Garrett Jones.
McGehee, a waiver claim from the Cubs last October, played his way onto the Brewers' Opening Day roster by hitting .339 in Spring Training and then saw increased playing time after second baseman Rickie Weeks was lost to a wrist injury and third baseman Bill Hall slumped. At the moment, McGehee's the leading candidate to be Milwaukee's regular third baseman in 2010.
"I want to make sure that I'm ready to go for Spring Training," McGehee said.
DiFelice has been on the DL since Sept. 15 with what he called "wear and tear" in his right shoulder. DiFelice, who had major shoulder surgery following the 2001 season and needed 2 1/2 years to feel well again, is seeking assurances from Yocum that nothing more serious is wrong this time.
"You owe it to yourself to get a second opinion, just to explore every avenue," said DiFelice, who posted a 3.66 ERA in 59 games before he was hurt. "The rehab is actually going well, but [Yocum] might see something that we haven't seen. You never know. He's one of the best in the country, so let's be smart.
"Right now, the plan is just to rehab. If he feels differently, then we'll have to think about that."
Right-hander Mike Burns said he's also seeing a doctor Monday. He's remaining in Milwaukee for an MRI on his sore right shoulder that has bothered him over the past week.