ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Texas catcher Ivan Rodriguez will have surgery on his left knee and miss the rest of the season.
The 10-time All-Star made the decision yesterday after traveling to Los Angeles to get a second opinion from orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum, the team doctor for the Anaheim Angels.
His only other option was rest and medication with hope the patella tendon inflammation subsided.
“I feel that having the surgery now is the best way for me to prepare for the next six or seven years of my major league career,” Rodriguez said.
“I look forward to coming back strong next season.”
Rodriguez hasn”t played since he was scratched from the lineup just before last Friday”s game at Kansas City and sent back to Texas for more evaluation.
The surgery is scheduled for next week. Club officials said the length of his recovery won”t be known until after the surgery.
It”s the second year in a row Rodriguez has failed to finish the season. He missed the final two months of last year with a broken thumb, and spent part of this season on the disabled list with a bruised heel.
After Rodriguez left an Aug. 22 game against the New York Yankees in the second inning when his right knee locked up on him while squatting, an MRI on both knees initially showed no problems.
Rodriguez took another night off but then caught 16 innings in the Rangers” 18-inning win over Boston.
He was scratched from the lineup Friday after team orthopedist Dr. John Conway became concerned about something he saw on the left knee from the earlier test. Another MRI revealed chronic patellar tendonitis inflammation of the tendon that connects the kneecap to the leg.
Rodriguez could become a free agent after the 2002 season. Agent Jeff Moorad has repeatedly approached the Rangers about a five-year contract extension worth about $20 million a season.
Rangers general manager Doug Melvin and owner Tom Hicks have put off talks on an extension, wanting to wait until a new labor agreement is settled between players and owners during the off-season. They also are concerned about Rodriguez”s long-term health.
“We still want to sit down and talk,” Melvin said.
“But a lot more has to happen before we do that.”