11/20/09 2:21 AM EST
Hunter to undergo sports hernia surgery
Center fielder expected to be ready for Spring Training
By Lyle Spencer / MLB.com
The Angels' center fielder is set to have surgery on Monday for a sports hernia. He is expected to be ready for Spring Training in February.
"I'm having hernia surgery on Monday at 10 a.m. [CT]," Hunter said. "They told me it'll be six to eight weeks recovery time. I will be ready for Spring Training. It's not how I wanted to spend the winter, but it's got to be done."
Hunter, who claimed his ninth consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove and his first Silver Slugger Award in the afterglow of the Angels' memorable 2009 season, struggled with his right groin area following a collision with the center field wall at Dodger Stadium on May 22.
He ran into several more walls before a collision in San Francisco on June 15 chasing a fly ball with an eight-run lead finally sent him to the disabled list, costing him 32 games.
"I can't second-guess myself," Hunter said. "That's how I play the game."
He never came all the way back from the injury physically, feeling the effects of the groin all the way into the postseason. The Angels took the Yankees to six games in the American League Championship Series after sweeping Boston three straight in the AL Division Series.
"I plan on coming back healthy next season and having a big year," Hunter said. "I was on my way to my best season when I injured the groin, and I struggled with it after that.
"It's good to get this taken care of."
The surgery will be performed in Dallas. Doctors informed Hunter, 34, that he should be able to resume workouts this winter and be ready to go when he reaches Tempe in February.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.