Miguel Sano is set to have surgery to help him recover from a stress reaction in his left shin, the Twins announced Thursday.
Surgery on the All-Star third baseman will be performed Nov. 13 in New York at the Hospital for Special Surgery, with the procedure being performed by Drs. William Ricci and Martin O'Malley.
A rod will be inserted into the bone to help strengthen his lower leg. No timetable for recovery was given, but he could be ready when the Twins begin spring training in mid-February.
The decision comes roughly one month after Sano pushed to be included on the roster for the wild card game against the New York Yankees. He began to feel better during the final week of the regular season, played on the final weekend, and traveled to New York with the club. But the bone had not yet healed, Sano continued to experience discomfort and was unable to hit the way he wanted to. So the Twins decided to leave him off the roster.
After waiting a month, and not seeing the results he hoped, Sano is going to have surgery. During an interview following their defeat to the Yankees, Twins general manager Thad Levine spoke of taking time to be sure the right approach is taken with Sano's recovery.
"We're still evaluating what the best course of action is, and our first hope would be to avoid surgery," Levine said. "A procedure would come with a six-to-eight-week recovery period before he could transition back into baseball activity. So we're inclined to evaluate all other options first, because we have a little bit of runway to work with here."
Levine was hopeful that, even if surgery was the option, that Sano would be ready for spring training.
"The recovery time would not preclude a clean bill of health before we arrive in Fort Myers," Levine said. "The question we're looking at is whether Miguel would be better served, particularly in the long term, by following a less invasive course of treatment."
Sano actually was examined by O'Malley while the Twins were in New York Sept. 18-20. It was during a time Sano saw two specialists to make sure he was on the correct recovery path. O'Malley agreed with the Twins' plan, which encouraged Sano to ramp up baseball activities and try to be eligible for the postseason.
Sano, listed at 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds, had hit a career-high 28 home runs before fouling a ball off his left leg on Aug. 18. He attempted to play the next day but left the game when he was unable to run.
After the Twins lost to the Yankees, manager Paul Molitor said Sano had made a commitment to 2018.
"He was one of the first guys in my office after the final out. He said he was sorry he couldn't help us and he was going to come back better than ever, and he's going to be ready to play every day," Molitor said. "He was emotional. (The loss) was a little hard for him to watch."
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