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After minor surgery, Gardner close to 100 percent

Yankees outfielder undergoes procedure for core muscle injury

NEW YORK -- Brett Gardner had a minor surgical procedure in October to address a core muscle injury and expects to be ready for Spring Training, the Yankees outfielder said in a radio interview on Wednesday.

Gardner told MLB Network Radio that he is completing his physical therapy following the surgery, which he hopes will correct an injury that affected Gardner in both July and September of this past season.

The Yankees said that Gardner had the procedure performed on his right rectus abdominis muscle on Oct. 16. The surgery was performed by Dr. William Meyers at the Philadelphia Vincera Institute in Philadelphia.

"I'm just about feeling 90 to 95 percent from that," Gardner said. "I should be back to 100 percent here in about a week or so and pretty much have my normal offseason from here on out, and get ready for 2015."

Gardner, 31, batted .256 with a career-high 17 home runs and 58 RBIs in 148 games for New York this past season, serving as the starting left fielder and having inked a four-year, $52 million contract extension that will kick in next year.

He missed a game on July 9 in Cleveland with what was initially feared to be a hernia, and Gardner's September performance was affected by a recurrence of what was described at the time as a lower abdominal strain.

Gardner logged just 12 hits in his final 72 at-bats of the year (.167), knocking 11 points off his season batting average.

"I think here in the next week or two, I'll be pretty darn close to 100 percent and just be able to go through my normal offseason routine," Gardner said. "That's one of the reasons we just went ahead and got it done after the season.

"Obviously without making the playoffs, we had a much longer offseason than we would have liked, but it also gave me a little extra time on the front end to get this thing taken care of and not have it be an issue next year. I'm looking forward to having that behind me pretty soon."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.
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