Oct 26, 2009, 12:30 PM EDT
Amid speculation that Chase Utley is playing through a foot injury, Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated reports that Raul Ibanez may need offseason surgery to repair a small muscle tear near his abdomen.
For the most part Ibanez has followed in Utley’s footsteps by refusing to speak about his health with the media, but Jenkins notes that he initially suffered the injury in June and opted against going under the knife after consulting with a surgeon and a neuromuscular specialist.
Ibanez was having a career-year at the time, hitting .312/.371/.656 with 22 homers and 59 RBIs in 62 games, but following a brief stint on the disabled list he finished the season by hitting just .232/.323/.448 with 12 homers and 34 RBIs in 72 games and has gone just 7-for-31 (.225) with one homer in nine playoff games.
Ibanez has predictably downplayed the injury, but saying stuff like “I’m fine right now” and “we’ll see what happens” can certainly be taken as hints that offseason surgery is on the docket for the 37-year-old and he’s still owed $11.5 million in each of the next two seasons.
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