Arthroscopic surgery expected soon for Roberts

Updated: May 10, 2007, 8:34 PM ET
Associated Press

Dave Roberts
Roberts

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants center fielder Dave Roberts has decided to have surgery on his troublesome left elbow, possibly keeping him out for four weeks.

Roberts said he could get the elbow cleaned out as soon as Friday or perhaps Monday. He made the decision after being examined by Angels orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum on Thursday in Los Angeles.

"The appointment went well," Roberts said.

San Francisco placed Roberts on the 15-day disabled list before opening a four-game series against the Rockies in Colorado and also designated outfielder Todd Linden for assignment. To fill the roster spots, the Giants recalled outfielders Fred Lewis and Dan Ortmeier from Triple-A Fresno.

The team had hoped Roberts could avoid needing a scope until after the season. Yocum worked on Roberts' shoulder during his college days at UCLA, but the outfielder was still deciding who would perform the operation.

The procedure removing floating bone chips and bone spurs -- nearly identical to what slugger Barry Bonds underwent after last season -- has a recovery time of about four weeks. Though Giants infielder Rich Aurilia healed quickly when he had surgery to remove bone chips in his right elbow in 2002 during his first stint with the Giants. He was out from May 20-June 3 that year and later helped the team reach the World Series.

The 34-year-old Roberts homered in the Giants' 5-3 loss to the New York Mets on Wednesday, but noted afterward that he was heavily medicated and was fresh after not having played in the three previous games. He said he doesn't intend to stay on such harsh medication for a long period of time.

Roberts didn't travel with the club after the game to Colorado, but hoped to meet up with the team at some point during its road trip that also includes three games in Houston before next weekend's interleague series against the Athletics in Oakland.

Roberts had an MRI exam earlier this week that revealed the bone chips. He cannot fully bend his elbow, which affects him at the plate and his outfield play -- so the injury is not just about whether he can tolerate the pain.

From the Giants perspective, losing Roberts is huge considering Linden's recent struggles at the plate and Roberts' speed in the leadoff spot that makes him such a threat on the basepaths.

San Francisco has up to 10 days to trade Linden or place him on waivers or he would be sent outright to Fresno. One of the Giants' most productive players during spring training, Linden was batting just .182 with no homers and three RBIs in 30 games. He misplayed a ball in right field Wednesday, but that didn't weigh into the decision.

"We felt like we needed to get some more production and the two guys that we have called up are playing well down there," manager Bruce Bochy said at Coors Field. "Todd's a talented player but he was a little lost up there at the plate. I don't know what's going to end up happening with him here."

Linden said he understood the Giants' sense of urgency,

"It's just an unfortunate situation," he said before boarding a plane back to San Francisco, noting he believes something will work out for him soon. "I don't have anything bad to say about them. It's business. It's baseball."

Roberts is batting .216 with two homers and six RBIs in 27 games and 23 starts in his first season with San Francisco. Randy Winn will be the primary center fielder with Roberts out, the spot he played last season.

"It's tough to lose a guy who plays the way Dave does," Bochy said. "It's going to be good to see a couple of these kids get an opportunity, too."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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