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Kouzmanoff facing probable back surgery

ARLINGTON -- Just eight days after he was named the AL Player of the Week, third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff said he may have to undergo back surgery after an epidural shot last Friday wasn't effective as hoped. He has a herniated disc in his lumbar spine and Rangers back specialist Dr. Drew Dossett has recommended surgery.

Kouzmanoff has numbness in his right leg and calf, signifying that surgery may be necessary.

"Surgery is a last thing, but I think now it's to the point that maybe the time has come," Kouzmanoff said. "There was just an adjustment period for a couple days. It was hard to swallow, but now it's like, OK, this is the way it's going to be and we just have to make a decision to move on from here."

Though Kouzmanoff seemed resigned Tuesday to the likelihood of surgery, he will get a second opinion Friday by Southern California specialist Dr. Robert Watkins while the team is in Anaheim. Dossett served a fellowship in spine surgery under Watkins.

"We're just trying to do our homework and gather as much information as we can," Kouzmanoff said.

Kouzmanoff said he has been told if he does have surgery, he will be out 7-12 weeks.

The 32-year-old veteran didn't play in the Majors at all the past two seasons. But he had a strong spring, worked his way onto the Rangers' roster when Adrian Beltre was injured and hit .362 with two homers and 10 RBIs in 13 games. The Rangers went 9-3 in the 12 games Kouzmanoff started.

"It's bad timing," Kouzmanoff said of his injury. "It was fun ... I was having fun winning."

Dave Sessions is a contributor to
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