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Fielder surgery adds to Rangers' injury issues

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: May 22 2014 08:37:35 PM CDT
Updated On: May 23 2014 11:09:35 AM CDT
Prince Fielder, Texas Rangers, 2014

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters


A run of injuries unprecedented in general manager Jon Daniels' memory continues to plague the Texas Rangers.

Daniels announced Thursday after his Rangers drubbed the Detroit Tigers, 9-2, that first baseman Prince Fielder would undergo season-ending surgery Tuesday to fuse two discs in his neck.

Fielder underwent an injection Saturday and felt good Monday, good enough to swing a bat.

"But he took some swings and felt a continuation of symptoms, weakness and soreness in his left arm," Daniels said. "He came in Wednesday and had not improved.

"He saw Dr. Drew Dossett first thing this morning and had another scan. Unfortunately the symptoms had gotten worse. The recommendation at this point is surgery, fusion of the discs.

"The typical recovery for that type of surgery is 3-4 months. It is tentatively set for Tuesday. We'll get a second opinion as a matter of course, but he would miss the rest of the season."

Fielder would be the 14th player the Rangers have on the disabled list at this time, not one of the current rotation members was on the Opening Day roster and Texas has used a baseball-high 39 players so far this season.

Starting left-hander Joe Saunders could return to the rotation this weekend. He made one start, then was placed on the disabled list April 5 with a left ankle stress fracture.

"I haven't been a part of something like this," Daniels said. "Never across the board to this degree, especially key guys. You plan in the offseason to give yourself depth at different spots.

"But there's a limit to how many premium innings you're going to lose and be able to replace."

Texas lost center fielder David Robertson for an unspecified period when he collided with right fielder Alex Rios trying to catch a pop fly double by former Rangers' second baseman Ian Kinsler in the third inning.

Robertson had to come out of the game. He passed concussion tests and initial X-rays showed no breaks but when he reported pain in his cheek another X-ray disclosed non-displaced fractures on the left side of his face. He said he hopes to be able to play in a few days.

Daniels also reported second baseman Jurickson Profar is having a reset on his return time after reinjured his right teres major muscle. The initial estimate was 8-12 weeks and it returns to that time frame again.

"He thought he did it two nights ago. He said he felt it he rolled over while he was sleeping," Daniels said. "It's a non-surgical deal. But we have to go even slower and more conservative. It's a Grade 2 strain."

Texas has been criticized for not giving Fielder a physical before the trade of Kinsler was made. Detroit reportedly did not give Kinsler a physical either.

He said Texas would look into its procedures but "trades aren't the only time you do physicals. In this particular case you're talking about (giving him a) cervical MRI.

"That's not part of our standard physical. And you're talking about a guy who had no history of injury, no documentation of injuries, hadn't missed a game in three years. Even if we had given him a physical, a cervical MRI would not have been part of it."

The Rangers won't make an immediate major move to replace Fielder, although Daniels said a player would be called up Friday to take his spot on the roster.

"It's a challenge," he said. "With every challenge comes the opportunity for somebody else to step up. But you're not going to replace certain guys."