Pedroia's thumb surgery may be more complicated
Veteran second baseman expects to ready for start of Spring Training
BOSTON -- Dustin Pedroia's left thumb surgery, scheduled for Tuesday in Arizona, might be more complex than originally expected. However, the star second baseman told ESPNBoston.com that he should still be good to go for Spring Training.
"I guess because I played with [the injury] the whole year, it's made it a little tougher," Pedroia told ESPNBoston.com. "If they do the normal surgery, there has to be some good endings [of the ligament] to reattach it. If there's not, we have to do it a different way."
That different way, according to Pedroia, would include taking a tendon from his wrist and attaching it to his thumb. Tommy John surgery, a staple in the baseball landscape for decades, also includes the transfer of a ligament.
"They made it seem like it's no big deal," Pedroia said. "It may cost me an extra couple of weeks longer to recover, that's all."
The Red Sox, knowing Pedroia's legendary work ethic, are confident he will make a swift recovery.
"We won't know the full extent until they get in there, but we are confident he'll be ready for the season no matter what, and knowing Dustin, he will come back faster than anyone predicts," Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington wrote in an email to MLB.com.
The surgery will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan, who has operated on Pedroia in the past.
Pedroia played with a torn UCL in his left thumb for the entire season after an ill-fated headfirst dive into first base at Yankee Stadium on Opening Day.
"It's part of the job," Pedroia said on Saturday as he got ready to board a duck boat for the World Series parade. "Everyday players, you go through stuff like this. You've got to try to find a way to manage it. Our training staff was awesome. I just had to limit my swings and do some other things. I found a way to get through it."
The original procedure Pedroia thought he would undergo would require four to six weeks of recovery. If Sheridan has to transfer a ligament, it will probably be more like six to eight weeks.
Despite the injury, Pedroia hit .301 with 193 hits and 42 doubles. The only way the ailment seemed to impact Pedroia's performance was his power. He hit nine home runs, his lowest total since his rookie season of 2007.
Pedroia played spectacular defense this season, earning his third Rawlings Gold Glove Award.