Delgado has surgery, out two months

May 19, 2009 7:27:52 PM PDT
Carlos Delgado had hip surgery Tuesday, and the New York Mets expect their slugging first baseman to return to the lineup in late July. Delgado had arthroscopic surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery, and the Mets said he will need a recovery period of about 10 weeks.

"I feel very confident about this," Mets general manager Omar Minaya said during a conference call, "but, of course, you don't know that until the guy goes out there and rehabs. But guys have had this before and there's a good track record in that range of 10 weeks. So we hope that that's the case."

Out in Los Angeles, the Mets got good news when shortstop Jose Reyes returned to the lineup Tuesday night against the Dodgers after missing five straight starts with stiffness in his right calf.

"I don't feel like I'm 100 percent, but we're missing a couple of guys and I feel good enough to play," Reyes said after doing some throwing drills at second base. "It's not like I'm going to run the way I used to run. I'm going to be smart about it. I'll see how I feel and go from there. But it's going to be hard for me to just take it easy, because that's not the way I play."

Delgado was diagnosed with an impingement of the hip, a bone spur and torn labrum.

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez had surgery March 9 to repair a torn labrum - cartilage that lines the hip socket to stabilize and cushion the joint. He resumed baseball drills on April 13 and rejoined the major league roster on May 8.

Boston third baseman Mike Lowell had hip surgery in October and Philadelphia second baseman Chase Utley had it a month later, and both were ready by spring training.

Delgado has not played since May 10 and was put on the 15-day disabled list Saturday. The 36-year-old first baseman, a two-time All-Star, is hitting .298 with four home runs and 23 RBIs in 26 games. His 473 home runs are two shy of Stan Musial and Willie Stargell for 28th place on the career list.

Manager Jerry Manuel has started Fernando Tatis and Jeremy Reed at first base in Delgado's absence, and Daniel Murphy also is a possibility.

"Jerry had to manage a lot of injuries last year, and I think he'll be able to do that," Minaya said. "We feel that we have the answers within the organization with Tatis, with Murphy, with Reed."

Trade talks also will continue, with Minaya saying payroll was not an impediment.

"I'm always going to be looking around. I'm never going to stop looking around," he said. "We will continue to be active in conversations with clubs, not only on a first basemen, but we will continue to be active with them on pitching, whether it's starters or relievers."

Minaya was not concerned that players such as Tatis and Murphy will be playing out of position and could cost the team. New York made five errors against the Dodgers in Monday night's 3-2, 11-inning loss: two by fill-in shortstop Ramon Martinez and one each by center fielder Carlos Beltran, pitcher Sean Green and Reed at first.

"I don't see that much of a risk with them," he said.