Ellis will have surgery on right shoulder

Updated: April 10, 2004, 8:36 PM ET
Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ Oakland Athletics second baseman Mark Ellis will miss the entire season with a right shoulder injury that requires surgery.

Ellis, who has been rehabilitating in Phoenix, was in the Bay Area on Saturday to meet with team doctor Jerrald Goldman about the latest MRI on the shoulder. The test revealed a torn labrum, and Goldman will perform the operation. No date had been set.

 Mark Ellis
Ellis

Ellis initially was expected to miss about two months after he dislocated his shoulder in a collision with shortstop Bobby Crosby during a spring training game against the Chicago Cubs on March 25.

"Mark is a good player, but we have other players lined up," manager Ken Macha said after the A's beat Seattle 2-1 Saturday. "We can't go out and play much better than we have in the first five games. I hope the surgery goes well. There was a comment on the bench today that if anybody can work their way back, it's Mark because of the way he works. It's a shame because he put a lot of work into this offseason."

Trainer Larry Davis said it isn't yet clear how long Ellis will need to recover because doctors won't know the extent of the tear until performing the operation, expected to be in two or three weeks.

"All along we suspected something like this," Davis said. "But you spend a lot of time trying to prove it wrong."

Reports surfaced late in spring training that Ellis would probably miss the whole season. But the A's wanted to wait for a second MRI to be sure of his status after the initial test was inconclusive because there was so much swelling and blood in his shoulder.

"I'm preparing for the worst and hopefully I'll be surprised," Ellis said at the time. "Whatever happens, I'll do it. If I need surgery, I'll rehab and get ready for next season."

Ellis had been encouraged by his strong spring after hitting a disappointing .248 with nine home runs and 52 RBIs last season, his first full campaign in the majors.

"I talked to him a little bit," Crosby said. "It's definitely a rough deal. It's a tough one when you love something so much and you can't play for so long. Knowing Mark, he'll get it done."

Reserve infielder Frank Menechino is also out with a strained calf, so Marco Scutaro is the starting second baseman for now.

Oakland signed utilityman Mark McLemore last weekend to help the ailing infield, but he's recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. The A's are hoping he'll be back in the lineup by the last week of April.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press