Out for year, Weeks has to decide on surgery or rehab
SEATTLE -- Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks will decide in the coming days whether to undergo surgery for a torn tendon in his left hamstring, but his 2013 season is over, the club confirmed on Friday.
That diagnosis came after Weeks, injured when he stumbled over his bat running to first base on Wednesday in San Francisco, returned to Milwaukee for an MRI and an examination by Brewers head physician William Raasch. It revealed that one of the three tendons that comprise the hamstring had separated from the bone.
Whether or not he opts for surgery, rehabilitation is expected to take 4-6 months.
"You always feel for guys who have an injury that bad," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "Rickie, because the guy is so tough, when he stood up I thought, 'Well, maybe it's not that bad.' He doesn't show any pain on his face. And then you go in and look at it and you just are like, 'Man.' When you start talking about tearing off the bone and stuff, that's bad. I know he still has a decision to make on what he wants to do, to try to rehab it or have surgery."
Brewers head athletic trainer Dan Wright said that this particular tendon -- the semitendinosus -- is sometimes harvested and used in ACL repairs.
"There are athletes out there that don't have them," said Wright, citing Brewers first baseman Mat Gamel's second knee surgery earlier this year. "So, you can rehab them and allow it to scar down and play as is, so to speak, or you can go with the surgical repair. …
"In this case, we're going to leave it up to Rickie to make his decision. We've loaded him with the answers and answered the questions as far as the positives and negatives of each. I'm sure he's going to want to discuss that with his agent and people and decide what the best course is."
The advantage of the surgical option, Wright said, "is it allows you to get back to the normal anatomy, so to speak. That's the advantage -- you try to get the leg as back to normal anatomy as you can. Without doing that, the leg can still heal and function, but theoretically you're working on two-thirds of the hamstring as opposed to the full hamstring.
"Rickie's a strong guy. He's one of our best, most compliant, most dedicated guys. There's no question he's going to make a full recovery."
Scooter Gennett was recalled from Triple-A Nashville to take Weeks' spot on the roster and will serve as the regular second baseman, Roenicke said. Weeks will earn $11 million in 2014, the final guaranteed season of his four-year, $38.5 million contract, and has an $11.5 million vesting option that will become guaranteed if he is healthy at end of 2014 and has 600 plate appearances in 2014, or 1,200 plate appearances in 2013-14 combined. Weeks, 31 next month, batted .209 with 10 home runs in 399 plate appearances this season.
Asked whether Weeks' second straight subpar season could lead to an offseason change at second base, general manager Doug Melvin said only that "Scooter will play [the rest of this year] and Rickie is signed for next year. That's where we're at. … There's other issues with the club, other positions. We have people to play there [at second base]."