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04/17/09 7:57 PM ET
Gordon out until at least late June
Third baseman undergoes successful hip surgery
By Todd Wills / Special to MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Third baseman Alex Gordon is expected to be out of action for 10-12 weeks after undergoing successful hip surgery, the Royals announced on Friday. Surgery to repair a tear in the labral cartilage of the right hip was performed on Friday morning at Vail, Colo., by Dr. Marc Philippon. The timetable means that Gordon would not return until late June at the earliest. Gordon was injured last Saturday in a game against the New York Yankees when he slid into second base on a force play. He tried to play through the pain, returning to the lineup against Cleveland on Tuesday and Wednesday -- he went 0-for-6 with four strikeouts -- but there was still a lot of discomfort, Royals manager Trey Hillman said before Friday's game against the Texas Rangers. The Royals already had an appointment set up with Philippon for a second opinion, and after several options were discussed, Gordon decided to go ahead and have the surgery. "It's unfortunate, but there's not a lot we can do about it," Hillman said. "We want him to be safe and get something taken care of at the young age of 25. Hopefully, he'll never have this recur again." In the meantime, the Royals will move on with Mark Teahen at third base. Teahen started his big league career at third but transitioned to right field in 2007. He already made a start at the hot corner this season, as well as four in right and two at second base, the position he learned this spring. Teahen said Friday while it's tough to have two regulars out of the lineup in Gordon and outfielder Jose Guillen, who, like Gordon, is on the disabled list with a injured right hip, the Royals are a deeper team and should be better able to handle it. "Gordon is a big part of the team," Teahen said. "But we're off to a good start and we have a deeper team this year. "It's not a huge adjustment for me. I've been able to go back and forth from the right field to third before." Hillman said it was an easy decision to play Teahen at third rather than move Mike Aviles there and play Tony Pena at shortstop. "[Teahen] has more games logged and he's very comfortable at third base," Hillman said. "Even if he hadn't had as much time on the infield during Spring Training, I would probably still be most comfortable with that. "I called Mark yesterday and just gave him a heads up and said primarily I'm looking at you being back at third base with Alex's situation, but on any given day, I might need you to provide the flexibility to run out there to right field if I want to play Mike Aviles at third base and Tony back at short on occasion." The move the Royals didn't make in the offseason, trading Teahen, has turned about to be a blessing in disguise. "I was always thrilled that we hung on to Mark Teahen," Hillman said. Of course, for Hillman and the Royals, it's not easy knowing Gordon, a former second-overall pick, won't be in the lineup every day, even if he was struggling through the first 10 days of the season. He was just 2-for-21 (.095) with one homer and three RBIs in seven games. "When you take a bat like that out of your lineup, everybody knows what kind of power production he has the potential to have," Hillman said. "He hits the Opening Day home run, we all get excited, hoping he'll get off to a good start. He struggled a little bit. "You just miss penciling that name in there because of what you think the production is going to be. But we can still do some productive things with the guys we're going to have in the mix."
Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.