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Rangers lose Soto for three weeks after surgery

Competing with Arencibia, veteran catcher has bone removed from left ankle

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers catcher Geovany Soto is expected to be sidelined for three weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery Saturday morning to remove a bone in his left ankle.

The os trigonum bone was putting pressure on the flexor tendon in the ankle and causing the discomfort he was experiencing lately. The tendon controls the movement of the toes.

The surgery was done by Dr. John Crates in Plano, Texas. Soto could have put the surgery off and continued playing by getting periodic injections. But by getting the surgery done now, there is a good chance he'll be back for some Spring Training games.

"Once his sutures are taken out in 10 days, he should be able to resume baseball activities," assistant general manager Thad Levine said.

If Soto is ready in three weeks, he should have two weeks to prepare for Opening Day. He entered camp as the No. 1 catcher, but the Rangers also signed J.P. Arencibia to be his backup. Arencibia spent the past three seasons as the Blue Jays' starting catcher.

"As far as Opening Day, we are hoping the answer is yes," Levine said. "If he's ready to carry the starter's load remains to be seen. We have a sense of security with J.P. Arencibia that he is capable of carrying that starting load.

The Rangers are left with three other catchers in camp besides Arencibia. Robinson Chirinos is the third catcher on the 40-man roster, while Jose Felix and Brett Nicholas are among the non-roster invites. But the Rangers have plenty of catchers in their Minor League clubhouse to help carry the load through the spring.

"We'll just continue to use what we have in camp," manager Ron Washington said. "We'll see how things develop. As we move forward, Arencibia will get the bulk of it right now."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger.
Read More: Texas Rangers, Geovany Soto