Beltran to miss start of the seasonJanuary 14, 2010
As if last year’s disaster wasn’t enough, in 2010 the Mets are hurting before the season even starts.
Carlos Beltran had surgery on his troublesome right knee Wednesday and the All-Star center fielder will probably miss the start of the season. His decision to have the operation also sparked a dispute about whether he had received permission from the team, and perhaps whether the surgery was needed.
The Mets issued the following press release late Wednesday night:
“Carlos Beltran had worsening of osteoarthritis of the right knee during the offseason. He had not been experiencing pain following the conclusion of the season and into his early offseason conditioning. The symptoms returned to the point where pre-spring training conditioning became too painful. He elected to undergo arthroscopic clean out of the arthritic area of his knee by Beltran”s personal physician Dr. Richard Steadman today in Colorado. He is anticipated to return to baseball activities in 8-12 weeks.
A person with knowledge of the situation said Beltran did not obtain advance written consent from the club to have the surgery, which was performed by his personal physician, Dr. Richard Steadman, in Colorado. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Mets didn’t discuss the matter publicly.
According to a new report for the New York Post, recapping the night’s events, Joel Sherman says, ‘the Commissioners Office and the Players Association have been alerted ‘the Mets are claiming this was done without clearance and that the Mets are threatening to take some form of action. There is a potential issue out there.’’
However, Sherman believes the Mets were not in the dark on this, and, ‘Mets doctors and trainers were kept abreast of the diagnosis in Colorado, even if the Mets did not agree with the remedy.’
Beltran’s agent, Scott Boras, said the guarantee language in the slugger’s contract requires advance written permission only for elective operations.
“This was necessary surgery, necessary surgery to work,” Boras told The Associated Press.
Boras also said he called Mets executives Monday to tell them Beltran was going to see Steadman and that they should keep in touch with Altchek. The agent said he traveled to Colorado with Beltran for the exam.
The person with knowledge of the situation said Altchek was not authorized to give consent because he is not a Mets official.
New York’s first official workout for pitchers and catchers is a little more than five weeks away, on Feb. 20. The Mets open the season April 5 against Florida.
“The doctor said eight weeks, possibly, and a window to 12 weeks to resume baseball activities. With elite athletes, the timetable is sometimes shorter than the original prognosis,” Boras said.
Beltran, a five-time All-Star and widely regarded as the best center fielder in baseball, missed 2½ months last season with a painful bone bruise on his right knee, coinciding with the team’s plunge. He returned Sept. 8 and eventually made his way back into the everyday lineup.
The switch-hitter finished with a team-leading .325 batting average and .415 on-base percentage. He had 10 homers and 48 RBIs.
Angel Pagan got regular playing time in Beltran’s absence last season and would probably fill in again if the Mets do not sign another outfielder.