Seager has sports hernia surgery, could be ready for Opening Day

January 30th, 2024

Rangers superstar shortstop Corey Seager underwent surgery to repair a left sports hernia on Tuesday, but there’s still a chance he could be ready for Opening Day, general manager Chris Young announced. Seager had the procedure in Phoenix and will continue to do his rehab in Arizona.

Seager suffered the injury at some point in the 2023 postseason and attempted to rest it this offseason but ultimately decided to undergo an operation. He’s expected to miss most of Spring Training, but Young said there’s a chance he could be ready for the start of the season.

“The original thought was that with rest, it would hopefully subside over the course of the offseason but in the winter, it became clear that there were going to be two options,” Young said. “One is continue to manage it and hope it doesn't get worse or to just proceed and fix it now. And he decided along with our medical staff that the most prudent course of action was to fix it now.”

Seager, who signed a 10-year deal worth $325 million before the start of the 2022 season, played with the injury during the postseason, and Young said it was manageable at the time. It clearly didn’t affect him at the plate, where he starred in the postseason. He batted .318 with six homers, six doubles and 12 RBIs in 17 games, while taking home World Series MVP honors and leading the Rangers to their first title.

Seager, 29, is coming off a huge year in which he hit .327/.390/.623 with 33 homers, 42 doubles and 96 RBIs in 119 games and finished second in the balloting for the AL MVP Award behind two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani.

Young said he doesn’t think this injury will have much of an impact on Seager’s 2024 campaign, but he just might get a slightly later start if he can’t get ramped up in time during Spring Training.

“My concern level is very low,” Young said. “Given the surgery itself, Corey’s work ethic, his commitments to rehab. He's been through surgeries before and he's made it back and that’s our expectation. We feel good about this surgery, the recovery timeline and his ability to be ready hopefully by Opening Day, but I don't want to make any strong commitments to that.”

As Young noted, Seager has dealt with his share of injuries during his nine-year career with the Dodgers and Rangers. The four-time All-Star missed 31 games last year with a left hamstring strain.

But this injury is considered minor, so much so that Young said he doesn’t believe he’ll need to add a veteran middle infielder as insurance. Ezequiel Duran and Josh Smith could both see time at shortstop if Seager isn’t ready for the start of the season.

"I don't think this changes anything,” Young said. “Seager is our shortstop and I think we all feel very confident in that and I don't think we're gonna change our plans this offseason. I think we feel very good about our middle infield depth and we expect Corey to make a full recovery.”

Seager has been an All-Star in each of his two seasons with the Rangers and won his third career Silver Slugger Award last year. He's a career .292/.361/.512 hitter with 170 homers, 230 doubles and 543 RBIs in 906 games. 

“I don't want to set out unfair expectations for Corey but nothing amazes me with him and his ability to roll out of bed and hit,” Young said. “I think we saw that last year when he came back so quickly and homered in his first at-bat. But you know, he's such an important player to our team and our franchise. We want to make sure we get this right and when Corey is ready to be back out there."