McPherson expected to miss most of year
By Mike DiGiovanna, Times Staff Writer
January 20, 2007
A lower-back injury that limited Dallas McPherson to 61 games in 2005 and 40 games in 2006 probably will sideline the Angels infielder for most, if not all, of the 2007 season.
McPherson all but conceded Friday night that he would need surgery to repair a herniated disk after the core strengthening program he began last fall netted no improvement all winter. Recovery time for surgery, in which two disks would be fused together, can range from six to eight months or more.
"It's beyond baseball — it's getting to the point where it affects your daily life," said McPherson, who will be examined by an orthopedic spine specialist Monday in Dallas. "Just getting out of bed, tying my shoes, putting on my pants, is painful."
After consulting several specialists last summer and fall, McPherson, who hoped to compete for the first base and third base jobs this spring, opted for an extensive rehabilitation program over surgery.
"I started one week after the season, and it never got better," McPherson, 26, said. "Then I started getting ready for spring training in early January, and it hurt the whole time. I'd run at 50%, and pain would shoot down my leg. If I tried to bend or move across my body, there was sharp pain, and I'd be real sore the next day."
Is surgery the next step?
"It's starting to look that way," McPherson said. "In September, the doctors agreed the best thing to do was rehab. I know I've done everything the doctors told me to do, and it's not better. It looks like it's hurt worse than I thought. Six months of pain is really too much for me."
McPherson hit 40 minor league home runs in 2004 and was considered such a promising power prospect that the Angels let third baseman Troy Glaus leave as a free agent after the 2004 season.
But injuries have prevented McPherson from gaining a foothold in the major leagues, and now they're threatening to torpedo his 2007 season and, potentially, his baseball career.
"Of course I'm concerned," McPherson said. "But from everything I've been told, if the surgery goes well, I rehab hard and don't try to rush back, I will return to normal and get back on the field."