Brewers' Gallardo ready to have surgery on ACL tear in right knee

Updated: May 9, 2008, 9:32 PM ET
Associated Press

MILWAUKEE -- Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo confirmed Friday that he'll have surgery on the torn ligament in his right knee, likely ending his season.

Gallardo said he believes there's no chance he could avoid the operation on his anterior cruciate ligament, and that it would occur sometime next week.

"I wish I was able to, but I know for sure that I want to be at 100 percent, the last thing I want to do is try to go out there and pitch with it and maybe hurt something with the pressure on it," Gallardo said.

General manager Doug Melvin said Gallardo may be seen by a specialist for another opinion, and that would determine what day Gallardo would have surgery.

The 22-year-old right-hander was expected to play a prominent role as the second starter after he went 9-5 with a 3.67 ERA after his midseason call-up last year.

But Gallardo, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee just before spring training, made three starts before being injured while trying to hurdle a baserunner against the Chicago Cubs on May 1.

Gallardo was on the ground for a few minutes, but managed to walk it off and keep pitching, completing the fifth inning and another. In his three starts, he didn't have a decision, but had a 1.80 ERA in 20 innings.

"When we lost Yo, that hurt," Brewers manager Ned Yost said.

Since the injury, the Brewers have been in a tailspin, losing the final six games of the nine-game road trip and scoring just 16 runs in the process, including blowing ace Ben Sheets' outing in an 8-6 loss in Houston on Sunday when closer Eric Gagne walked three and gave up two runs for his league-leading fifth blown save of the season.

"That sucked the wind out of us," Melvin said of Gallardo's injury. "But we can't let that happen. A lot of teams have injuries. The frustrating part is he and Ben have never been able to pitch on a regular basis for us."

Gallardo said doctors told him there's a 98 percent success rate with the surgery, and Gallardo hopes there's a chance he can return in September or October.

"Hopefully there is, but you never know, certain people are different, and I might heal a lot quicker than others, certainly that's going to be my mind-set," Gallardo said. "Hopefully I'll work hard enough to be able to pitch in September."

The surgery he had on Feb. 19 was the first of his professional career, and his rehab went off without any setbacks.

"It's just a thing that happens, you can't do anything about it," Gallardo said. "First, I'm getting the surgery out of the way, then after the surgery's over with, just focusing on doing the rehab and working hard."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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