08/12/08 9:27 PM ET
Crawford to have surgery on hand
Two-time All-Star outfielder expected to be out 6-8 weeks
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
"After going through some of the different options, Carl is going to have surgery on Thursday in Arizona," said Andrew Friedman, executive vice president of baseball operations.
"It's a six-to-eight week recovery. It's a fairly simple procedure, but it's something that the downside was too great if we didn't go ahead and get it taken care of now. We're fairly optimistic he'll be able to return in six weeks. But we'll know a lot more once he's a couple of weeks into the recovery."
Crawford, who is a two-time American League All-Star, said he heard something pop when he checked his swing on a 3-1 pitch from Seattle's J.J. Putz in the 10th inning of Saturday night's game. The injury is located at the base of the middle finger of his right hand at the joint connecting the finger to the hand. The tendon used to straighten the fingers has come out of its groove, which causes the finger to lock into position when Crawford bends his finger downward. He must push the tendon back into place to again straighten his finger.
"If every single thing went extremely well, there is a chance he could play in a regular-season game," Friedman said.
Crawford's other option would have been to rehab the injury.
"Try and splint it and stabilize it," Friedman said. "But it's not that practical after we went through it. We consulted a number of different doctors and got a lot of different opinions. And [rehabbing] it was something that just didn't seem like the prudent thing to do."
Friedman said that option might have fixed the problem enough to where Crawford could play. But the overriding opinion was that rehab would not have fixed the injury, and that it would have reoccurred, which could have resulted in Crawford hurting himself worse and having a more involved surgery.
Speculating about Crawford's prognosis for the remainder of the season should become clear in the coming weeks.
"So much of it will be based on how well the surgery goes, how well the rehab is going, how his hand is progressing," Friedman said. "Once we get three or four weeks into this thing, we'll have a much better feel for whether he'll be able to return in the regular season and if he would be eligible for anything thereafter."
Crawford was hitting .273 with eight home runs and 57 RBIs and was in the midst of an 11-game hitting streak. Recently, he became the first player since Hall of Famer Arky Vaughan (1939) to reach 80 triples before his 27th birthday. Crawford is a four-time American League stolen base leader in addition to being the Rays' all-time leader in hits, at-bats, runs, stolen bases and triples.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.