Segui's wrist injury is torn tendon


he may miss 6-8 weeks

Club hoped he could bat lefty on mend, but veteran says operation `inevitable'


May 07, 2002|By Joe Christensen | Joe Christensen,SUN STAFF

Orioles first baseman David Segui said yesterday that he has a torn tendon in his left wrist, which will likely require surgery and could keep him out of the lineup for six to eight weeks.

Segui suffered the injury while sliding into home plate April 26 at Kansas City. He missed three games, then returned to the lineup for three games, but has not played since going 2-for-4 against the Royals on Thursday night.

After undergoing a magnetic resonance imaging exam and receiving a cortisone shot Saturday, Segui is scheduled to be re-examined today. The club has been hoping he can avoid surgery by hitting strictly left-handed while giving the injury time to heal.

"The tendon's torn in my wrist," Segui said. "One of the options is to surgically repair it, and [team doctors] said it takes six to eight weeks [to heal]. But I'm a pretty quick healer, and I think I'd be able to play before that.

"It [surgery] seems inevitable; I'm going to have it sooner or later. And I just don't want to go through the same situation as last year with my knee, where we drag it out, play three-four days or a week, and for five days it's killing me and I can't play again."

Segui was limited to 82 games last season because of injuries, including a strained tendon in his left middle finger and a strained ligament in his left knee. After the season, he had surgery to remove two small particles from his knee.

"I play hurt," Segui said. "Everybody has aches and pains. I get a little frustrated when I start hearing whispers as if I don't want to play. I don't think there's anybody in this clubhouse that would have been playing with this.

"Nobody wants to jump right into surgery, but I don't know how a tendon's going to miraculously attach itself if we don't."

When healthy, Segui is the team's No. 3 hitter. He has played in 23 of the team's 31 games this season, batting .298 with two home runs and 15 RBIs.

The Orioles remain optimistic.

"He's seeing the doctor [today]," Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said. "The wrist feels better today, according to [head trainer] Richie Bancells, but we'll know more [today]."

Segui said this injury makes it near impossible to swing the bat right-handed. And he's not so sure about the possibility of swinging strictly left-handed while the injury heals.

He said: "It got to the point the last two, three games hitting left-handed where if I wasn't taking my painkillers, I couldn't swing."

Gil almost ready

While the news sounded grim with Segui, the Orioles should get their starting catcher back soon.

Geronimo Gil, who has missed the past seven games with a strained left groin and strained right hamstring, could be back in the lineup tonight, Hargrove said.

"He's ready to go," Hargrove said. "We'll look at him [today], but we got the OK from the trainers to let him go."

With Gil still out and Brook Fordyce getting the night off, Izzy Molina made his first major-league start at catcher last night since 1997.

Molina went 1-for-3 and blocked the plate to help prevent Omar Vizquel's attempted steal of home.

Around the bases

With three off days scheduled in the next 13 days, the Orioles will likely move Sean Douglass to the bullpen and allow the other four starters to pitch on regular rest during that period, Hargrove said. After that, Jason Johnson (chipped right middle finger) might be ready to return. ... Johns Hopkins University will present former Oriole Cal Ripken with an honorary degree on May 23 at graduation ceremonies for the schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering.

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