Lowell done for year, to have hip surgery Monday

Updated: October 14, 2008, 11:15 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

BOSTON -- Mike Lowell will undergo surgery on his right hip Monday, depriving the Red Sox of last year's World Series MVP for the rest of their season.

Mike Lowell

Lowell

The third baseman, who is not on Boston's roster for the AL Championship Series, chose to have the surgery as soon as possible so he would have a good chance to be ready for the start of spring training.

"I'm kind of relieved, in a sense, just to get it over," Lowell said in the dugout Tuesday. "I think I was hanging onto something that wasn't really realistic."

Lowell was removed from the playoff roster after Game 3 of the first-round series against Los Angeles, making him ineligible for the ALCS. The Red Sox beat the Angels three games to one to advance.

Boston now trails Tampa Bay 3-1 in the best-of-seven ALCS following Tuesday's 13-4 loss.

Lowell said his hip started bothering him a few weeks before the All-Star break. He was limited to one at-bat in the last 11 regular-season games and went 0-for-8 in two postseason games.

He decided late last week to have the surgery. It will be done in New York.

General manager Theo Epstein told Lowell "there was probably a 99 percent chance I was not on the roster" if the Red Sox get to the World Series, Lowell said before Game 4 against the Rays.

"I don't think we can bank on that one percent and I just didn't want to drag it out and then see if it affects the later part of spring training or even April of next year," he said.

The arthroscopic surgery involves repairing a torn labrum in the hip and a bone spur on the femur as well as checking and possibly fixing a muscle.

"There's no way he was going to be able to play" this year, manager Terry Francona said. "Any additional time that he can have now so he can come to spring training, he really wanted, and I don't blame him."

Doctors have told Lowell that's realistic.

"They've told me they've cleared NFL players for full contact after four months following similar surgery," he said. "So I guess I'm banking on that."

Lowell had two stints on the disabled list this year and played in just 112 games. He had a sprained left thumb and a strained left side muscle along with the hip injury.

"I was very happy with two months, May and June," he said. "Obviously, disappointed in April because I got hurt early and it was just really a struggle, I'd say, the last three months."

In last year's World Series sweep over the Colorado Rockies, Lowell was 6-for-15 with four RBIs. And in the last two games he went 4-for-9 with a solo homer in the seventh inning of the finale that gave Boston a 3-0 lead in the clinching 4-3 victory.

Lowell said he expected to be released from the hospital Tuesday and spend the next two weeks on crutches.

"I'd love to be in the dugout here [for] Game 1 of the World Series," he said. "That would be good, as long as no foul balls come in."

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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