Third baseman expected to miss at least three months

PHILADELPHIA -- Chicago White Sox third baseman Joe Crede is
expected to miss at least three months after back surgery Tuesday.

Joe Crede


Third Base
Chicago White Sox


Crede was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of lower
back inflammation last Wednesday. He had a disk repair operation,
known as a microdiscectomy, in Los Angeles.

"When you have surgery right now, it's like nothing," manager
Ozzie Guillen said before a 7-3 loss to the Phillies. "You go
through a couple months of rehab on your way back and sometimes you
feel better. It's a shame we had to wait this long to make that
happen because if he did it when he was supposed to do it, then
right now we'd have a different surgery."

Oakland Athletics outfielder Mark Kotsay had lower back surgery
in March and returned on June 1.

"In the past, it's like 50-50 to play," Guillen said. "Now,
with those kinds of surgeries, he comes back before the season's

The 29-year-old Crede has a history of back problems, and it has
been a nagging issue all season. After deciding not to have
offseason surgery to repair two herniated disks, he was hitting
.216 with four homers and 22 RBIs -- a steep drop from last year
when he batted .283 with 30 homers and 94 RBIs.

"He thought he could play through it and now he found out he
can't," Guillen said. "Believe me, it's a tough thing. We need
him. I think the main reason he played through the pain was because
he wanted to be part of the ballclub, and unfortunately it couldn't

Rookie Josh Fields has replaced Crede as the regular third
baseman. A top prospect, Fields was batting .283 with 10 homers and
37 RBIs at Triple-A Charlotte. He had just three hits in his first
21 at-bats with the White Sox.

"Defensively, he's never going to be Joe Crede. Offensively,
the kid's got speed," Guillen said. "He's been a good hitter in
the past. He's got a big opportunity."