Sano to have surgery, should be ready for spring

Twins slugger undergoing procedure for stress fracture in left shin

November 2nd, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins third baseman will undergo surgery on Nov. 13 after suffering a stress reaction in his left shin in mid-August that never fully healed.

He is expected to have a permanent titanium rod inserted into his left shin, and the surgery generally carries a six-to-eight week recovery period before a return to baseball activities. If all goes to plan, Sano should be ready for Spring Training. It's a procedure more common in the NBA and NFL.

Sano sustained the injury on a foul tip off his left leg on Aug. 18, and he played the next day. He didn't return again until Sept. 29, playing in the final three games of the season in an attempt to get ready for the American League Wild Card Game, but he was ultimately left off the roster.

Twins general manager Thad Levine said after the season that surgery was an option for Sano, and following further evaluation, Sano will have the operation done by Dr. William Ricci and Dr. Martin O'Malley in New York at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Sano previously saw Dr. O'Malley for testing in late September.

Sano, 24, hit .264/.352/.507 with 28 homers and 77 RBIs in 114 games, and he was named an All-Star for the first time. Twins manager Paul Molitor said Sano took the AL Wild Card loss hard after he wasn't healthy enough to play.

"He was one of the first guys in my office after the final out," Molitor said. "He said he was sorry he couldn't help us, and he was going to come back better than ever and he's going to be ready to play every day. He was emotional. I think it was a little hard for him to watch."

Sano heads into next season as the club's starting third baseman for a second straight year, but Molitor said after the season that to expect Sano to play 150 games at third is a bit unrealistic, so he's expected to see action at designated hitter and first base, as well. Sano has yet to play more than 116 games in a season.