DETROIT -- Second baseman Placido Polanco said on Sunday that he'll miss the rest of the season and possibly part of next year after suffering what he believes to be a setback in his rehab from a separated left shoulder.
Asked about his shoulder after Sunday's 12-8 loss to the Orioles, Polanco told reporters, "I'm out for the rest of the year and maybe Spring Training [next year]."
He repeated the statement to other reporters on his way out of the clubhouse. He did not elaborate, but this would indicate he believes he'll need more time to recover from the injury. A timetable that would leave him out of Spring Training 2007 would suggest he believes surgery is a possibility.
The Tigers, however, are not confirming Polanco's timetable and are limiting their comments on the injury in general. Kevin Rand, the head athletic trainer, said through a team spokesperson that Polanco is still considered day-to-day, and that they'll continue to work with him on a daily basis toward a possible return.
Other indications sent mixed signals as far as Polanco's plans. His locker was nearly empty after the game, but he had a bag packed for the team flight on Sunday evening to Chicago, where the Tigers will start a three-game series against the White Sox on Monday. Several teammates were caught by surprise when told of Polanco's statement and said they hadn't heard anything.
Polanco has been out of action since separating the shoulder making a diving catch in Boston on Aug. 15. He had been making steady progress toward a possible return to action, but has been battling soreness since he began taking live batting practice over the last few days. Polanco did not take batting practice on Sunday, though that wasn't a total surprise given a day game after a night game.
Before the game, manager Jim Leyland said that Polanco's shoulder was "pretty sore," and that he was guessing Polanco would not be ready to play on Monday.
"But I can't say that for sure," Leyland said. "He might be 100 percent today."
Asked after the game when Polanco might return, Leyland said, "I have no idea."
The original hope was that Polanco could play sometime this coming week, possibly during the White Sox series. If he can't return at all, then the Tigers would have to finish their magical season without one of their main components.
Polanco was batting .294 with 17 doubles, three home runs and 44 RBIs in 103 games before the injury, primarily hitting second. Defensively, he was a steady presence at second base and formed an impressive double-play tandem with shortstop Carlos Guillen.
The Tigers are 11-20 since Polanco went on the disabled list on Aug. 16. They hadn't won a game without a home run in that span until Saturday's 2-0 win over the Orioles. They've used a combination of Omar Infante and Neifi Perez to take Polanco's place at second, though Infante has received the bulk of the playing time there lately.
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Last edited by Dannomyte on Sat Sep 23, 2006 12:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.