Klesko to have shoulder surgery
By BERNIE WILSON, AP Sports Writer
September 3, 2003
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Ryan Klesko squeezed in as much baseball as he could Wednesday, taking batting practice, fielding ground balls and signing autographs.
On Thursday morning, the San Diego Padres' slugger will have surgery on his right shoulder and his season will be finished. His shoulder has been bothering him since spring training, and doctors will shave down the end of his collarbone.
``It's like wear and tear, all those years of swinging,'' said Klesko, a left-hander who was available to pinch-hit in Wednesday afternoon's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The first baseman anticipates up to six weeks of rehab and a full recovery in two months.
He thought he might be able to gut out the rest of the season and has had several cortisone shots. But, but he and Padres management agreed it would be best to have the surgery right away so he'll be ready for spring training.
``I can't do anything,'' Klesko said. ``I don't have any strength left in it. I haven't worked out all year and I'm not really driving the ball like I used to.''
He said he even tried using a lighter bat, but that didn't help. ``In the second half, my power numbers went down and fastballs were beating me that usually didn't beat me. I just said, `You know what, forget it.' ``
Although he leads the Padres with 21 homers and 67 RBIs, his average dipped to .252. In his first three seasons with the Padres, he hit .290 and averaged 28 homers and 100 RBIs.
The surgery will be similar to the one closer Trevor Hoffman had on Feb. 28. But Hoffman also had arthroscopic surgery to fix a tear in his rotator cuff in October, and he missed the season's first five months before returning Tuesday night.
Klesko said an MRI exam on Tuesday showed that his rotator cuff is fine.
With Klesko out, Phil Nevin will play first base, freeing up time for Gary Matthews Jr. and Xavier Nady in right field. Nevin returned July 23 after dislocating his left shoulder diving for a ball in left field in spring training.
Updated on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2003 6:02 pm EDT
If you have him, time to say goodbye.