Rockies lose Taveras to leg injury, Helton to back surgery

Updated: September 24, 2008, 10:54 PM ET
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- Colorado center fielder Willy Taveras is done for the season because of a stress fracture in his right lower leg.

Taveras, who had been experiencing some soreness in the leg, was scratched from the Rockies' lineup for Wednesday's game with the San Francisco Giants because of the injury to his tibia bone.

In addition, the Rockies announced that first baseman Todd Helton will have back surgery Tuesday to alleviate a disk problem.

Taveras had a follow-up X-ray that showed a problem with his bone, Rockies athletic trainer Keith Dugger said, and an MRI exam Wednesday revealed the stress fracture.

Meanwhile, Helton was examined by Dr. Robert Watkins in Marina del Rey, Calif., where he will have the operation.

"Dr. Watkins this afternoon said Todd will benefit from a microdiscectomy," Dugger said. "Basically, they take a small piece of the disk where it's bulging and it takes pressure off the nerve that's irritated. He thinks it'll be a very successful surgery. ... One key for him will be not playing in a fatigued state. We need to make sure to be smart and give him rest."

Helton missed 54 games before being activated from the disabled list Sept. 12. He had been used as a pinch-hitter since coming off the DL.

Helton was placed on the 15-day DL on July 3 because of a strained lower back. He was transferred to the 60-day DL on Aug. 10. It was his third trip to the disabled list in his 11-year career and first time since 2006. In the initial 10 years of his career Helton played an average of 154 games and never missed more than 18 games.

The Rockies were 33-29 with Helton on the DL.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press