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Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Omar Beltre to have spinal surgery

By Richard Durrett

SURPRISE, Ariz. – Rangers pitcher Omar Beltre will undergo spinal surgery next week and be out at least three months, if not longer.

Beltre, who arrived in the United States last spring after visa issues, was considered a candidate for the bullpen. The 29-year-old has spinal stenosis, a genetic disorder that involves a narrowing of the spine. The club said it’s something that usually occurs in older people. Beltre will have the surgery Feb. 22 and it will be six to eight weeks before he can throw at all.

The team isn’t sure of Beltre’s timetable or whether he can return to full health because they haven’t found baseball player that’s had this condition.

Beltre and teammate Alexi Ogando were not able to get visas for five years because of their involvement in a visa fraud scandal in the Dominican Republic. But the did obtain the necessary paperwork last year and were allowed to go to the United States in time for spring training in 2010.