Thursday, December 31, 2009
Lowell expected to be ready for spring
ESPN.com news services
BOSTON -- Mike Lowell is expected to be ready for spring training after having surgery Wednesday on a thumb injury that derailed his trade from the Boston Red Sox to the Texas Rangers.
The operation to repair a radial collateral ligament in his right thumb that was torn late last season was done in Phoenix by Dr. Donald Sheridan, the Red Sox said. The third baseman should recover in six to eight weeks, putting him on track for Boston's first full spring training workout on Feb. 24.
The Boston Globe reported that Lowell was discovered to have a 95 percent tear of the ligament when the procedure was performed.
The Red Sox had worked out a deal to send the 2007 World Series MVP to the Rangers for catcher Max Ramirez. But it fell apart after Lowell saw a hand specialist in Arizona on Dec. 18 and Rangers team physician Dr. Keith Meister the next day. The Red Sox are expected to revisit a trade once Lowell recovers.
Before last season, Lowell had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip and his range in the field was diminished. But he batted .290 with 17 homers and 75 RBIs in 119 games. In 11-plus major league seasons, Lowell is batting .280 with 218 homers and 926 RBIs. He has made four All-Star teams.
In addition to the right thumb injury, Lowell has had other injury concerns the last few seasons. He strained ligaments in his left thumb in 2008, causing him to go on the disabled list. He also had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip in October 2008 and returned in time for the 2009 season, but his range in the field was limited.
He is owed $12 million in 2010, the final season of a $37.5 million, three-year contract, and the Red Sox had agreed to pay as much as $9 million of it in the proposed trade with Texas.
Lowell came to the Red Sox before the 2006 season with Josh Beckett in a trade that sent Hanley Ramirez to the Florida Marlins. Lowell, considered a throw-in in that deal, hit .400 with a homer and three doubles in the 2007 World Series, when the Red Sox swept the Colorado Rockies for their second title in four seasons.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.