Friday, August 5, 2011
Updated: August 6, 4:18 AM ET
Microfracture surgery for Ike Davis?
By Adam Rubin and Ian Begley
One question surrounding New York Mets first baseman Ike Davis and his mysterious ankle injury was answered on Friday: No, he won't be playing for the Mets in 2011.
But Davis and the Mets still don't know the best way to treat the troublesome ailment.
After Davis visited with two ankle specialists on Friday, it was determined that he will avoid baseball activities and running for the next four weeks and will be re-evaluated Sept. 1.
Whether Davis eventually will need microfracture surgery to address cartilage damage in his left ankle is still uncertain. The Mets and Davis are holding out hope that the injury can heal with rest.
"Surgery can be problematic so it's not necessarily an excellent or preferred solution," Mets GM Sandy Alderson said on Friday. "We'd like to see what happens over the next four weeks and hope that this resolves itself just in the course of rest and the healing process."
The question remains whether Davis eventually will need microfracture surgery to address cartilage damage in his left ankle.
Davis injured the ankle in a collision in Colorado with David Wright on May 10. He has not returned to the lineup because of lingering discomfort when he attempts to run.
He received a cortisone shot last month in a last-ditch effort to avoid season-ending surgery. On July 19 Davis said he would have the surgery if the ankle was still "not feeling a lot better" in several weeks.
He said Friday that he'd felt better last week while running in Arizona and was optimistic about beginning a rehab assignment in Florida in the coming days. But Davis began to feel discomfort after doing "fielding movements" and the injury bothered him for the next "three or four days," he said on Friday.
Alderson noted on Friday that exams showed that the condition of Davis' injury has not improved markedly since mid-July, but the Mets are hoping to avoid having Davis undergo the high-risk microfracture surgery at all costs.
The procedure attempts to trigger the healing process by drilling small holes in the ankle to allow blood and marrow to help heal the cartilage. It is rare in baseball players. Detroit Tigers veteran Carlos Guillen recently missed 11 months after having the surgery on his left knee.
"This is not one where there's a nice road map to recovery," Alderson said of Davis' injury. "I think that's one of the things that concerns Ike, one of the things that concerns us."
Davis would likely need to undergo the surgery soon or else he might have difficulty recovering in time for the start of the 2012 season.
Alderson said that Davis' doctors informed the team that delaying a decision on surgery for four weeks will not put Davis in danger of missing time in spring training.
Davis, who was hitting .302 with seven homers and 25 RBIs before the injury, will see another foot specialist Tuesday.
All of the setbacks and visits to specialists seem to have worn out the 24-year-old.
"It's been a roller coaster of feeling good one day, the next day not being able to move and just -- you can't really do anything about it," Davis said. "I just kept doing exactly what they tell me and working hard and it hasn't really come out the way we wanted it to."
Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com. Ian Begley is a frequent contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.