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Erstad Faces Decision on Surgery

September 23, 2003|Ben Bolch | Times Staff Writer

Darin Erstad said he has until Nov. 1 to decide whether to undergo surgery to remove a bothersome tendon in his right hamstring, allowing the Angel center fielder ample time to recuperate before the start of spring training.

"Basically, I have a decision to make," said Erstad, who has been limited to 67 games this season by chronic tendinitis within the hamstring. "There's pros and cons both ways."

Surgery might alleviate the discomfort Erstad has felt practically the entire season, but it also might weaken the area or lead to other complications.

"There's some gray area as to what the best course of action is," Angel Manager Mike Scioscia said. "The dilemma is there's nothing to say that the surgery is guaranteed to move him ahead, and there's nothing to say that if he doesn't have surgery that he won't be OK."

Erstad, who has rehabilitated the hamstring for nearly two months and will not return this season, said that the area has improved, but that he still can feel that something is not quite right.

"It's not pain, but something's telling me there's something down there," he said. "If you keep going and that goes away, that would be great. Time will tell."

Erstad said he would continue to gather input from doctors. A Texas Ranger team physician examined Erstad last weekend in Arlington and confirmed the initial diagnosis.

"I'm just going to take all the information in, and you just have to go with what your heart tells you," Erstad said.


Troy Glaus, who continues to rehabilitate the partially torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder, also faces a decision on surgery. Scioscia said the third baseman faces a timetable similar to Erstad's on whether to have the procedure.

"I think there might be more of a hard date with Troy right now because they know what the MRI showed, they know what they have to do," Scioscia said.

Brendan Donnelly is the only Angel who has committed to postseason surgery. The right-handed setup man will have what General Manager Bill Stoneman termed a minor procedure to remove bone chips from his pitching elbow.


Garret Anderson returned to the lineup Monday after missing his first two games of the season with tightness in his lower back. The left fielder said he was not disappointed that he would not become the first Angel to play in all 162 regular-season games since Don Baylor in 1979. "It's a goal," Anderson said, "but if it's not going to happen the right way, I'm not going to worry about it." ... Catcher Jose Molina, who suffered a bruised left shoulder Saturday in a home-plate collision with Rafael Palmeiro, sat out a second consecutive game but said he expected to return to the lineup by Wednesday.

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