What David Aardsma thought was just an oblique strain that ended his 2010 season prematurely turned out to be an injury that will require surgery on Monday.
The Mariners announced on Thursday that Aardsma will undergo surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip. Aardsma will travel to Vail, Colo., where hip specialist Dr. Marc Phillipon will repair the tear.
“We thought it was an oblique strain and it just wasn’t getting better,” Aardsma said. “When I started my offseason throwing program it was still bothering me. I knew something wasn’t right.”
Aardsma visited Phillipon on Tuesday. The team decided surgery was needed after consulting with Phillipon, Mariners medical director Dr. Edward Khalfayan and head trainer Rick Griffin.
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The procedure has become common in recent years. Former Mariners catcher Rob Johnson had surgery to repair labrum tears in both hips last year.
Phillipon performed surgery on Johnson as well as similar surgeries on Alex Rodriguez and Mario Lemeiuex.
Though Johnson, who has since been released, was ready to play opening day 2010, he has since said he didn’t feel 100 percent healthy.
Aardsma said he thinks he should be ready for opening day.
“From what I’ve been told, I should be ready to go,” he said. “I can throw in four weeks and this isn’t a major rehabilitation process.”
Aardsma, who saved 31 games in 36 opportunities last season, said preparing for the season is a bit easier for a reliever than a starting pitcher.
“I just need to be able to throw back-to-back days,” he said. “If I can do that, I should be ready to go.”
Aardsma saved 15 of his final 16 opportunities after July 11, posting an 0.81 ERA.
Aardsma has been the subject of trade rumors in the offseason. But the Mariners had yet to move him. The surgery deflates his trade value.
Will surgery affect Aardsma’s mechanics? He felt discomfort on every pitch late in the season, so the team shut him down the final week.
“I could really feel when I would fully extend as I finished my delivery,” he said.
Surgery should take care of that pain.
“I just want to do whatever it takes to get healthy so I can help the team,” he said.
Former major league manager Steve Boros died Wednesday in Deland, Fla. He was 74. He spent the first of his seven years as a major league third baseman with the 1957 Detroit Tigers. He managed the Oakland Athletics in 1983-84 and the San Diego Padres in 1986.
Brewer Anheuser-Busch and Major League Baseball have renewed their sponsorship deal, ending a dispute that took the longtime partners to court. Budweiser will be designated MLB’s official beer sponsor.
Tom Vandergriff, the former Arlington, Texas, mayor who lured the Texas Rangers out of Washington in 1972, died Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas. He was 84. Vandergriff attended the Rangers’ playoff victory over the Yankees in October that put them in their first World Series.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.