Segui set for surgery on wrist

10- to 12-week absence estimated

player rues delay caused by dispute

May 18, 2002|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

A second opinion has taken the Orioles' David Segui to his first inclination.

Examined again yesterday, Segui will follow the recommendation of Dr. Thomas Graham to have surgery on his left wrist Tuesday at Union Memorial Hospital. Graham, director of the facility's Curtis National Hand Center, will perform the surgery.

Believing from the start that he'd need the procedure, Segui attempted to play through the pain, but had difficulty holding the bat and appeared in only six of 17 games.

He underwent a second magnetic resonance imaging Thursday in Cleveland, and said the test again revealed a torn tendon in the wrist. The Orioles announced Graham discovered a tear in the cartilage and "an additional injury to the tendon and its sheath."

The surgery is expected to keep Segui out of the lineup for 10 to 12 weeks. He appeared in only 82 games last season, the first in a four-year, $28 million deal he signed in December 2000.

"Whatever amount of time they speculate, I plan to be back before that," he said.

Tension has built between Segui and the club, which initially described the tendon injury as a "bruise." Segui insisted that the first MRI showed a tear and that surgery most likely would be needed.

"I already knew what it was. Just because they admit to it doesn't mean that it's official. I already knew what it was two weeks ago," he said.

"That's pretty much what they told me here, but somehow amnesia kicked in and vanished from memory. It's all coming back to everybody now."

Asked if he's wasted valuable time getting to this point, Segui planted tongue in cheek before responding, "No, not at all."

"Of course it's frustrating," he added. "That's two weeks we could have been in the recovery process."

The injury occurred April 26 in Kansas City when catcher Brent Mayne pinned Segui's hand with his shin guard while making a tag.

"I don't want to have surgery, but I want to get it fixed," Segui said. "It's not going to heal by itself. It's not something I look forward to."

Manager Mike Hargrove described his reaction to yesterday's news as "a little disappointed, but not surprised."

"We all felt like this was a possibility. It certainly was one of the options that doctors gave us when they first examined David," he said.

"We've been assured that he can't injure it anymore, but over the course of this road trip it was obvious ... David tried to hit in Tampa and it just wasn't working. It started feeling a little bit better in Cleveland, really quite a bit better, but still not to the point where it was fair to David."

"It's probably a relief for everybody. He tried to see if he could get by without having the surgery or taking more dramatic action, and obviously it just wasn't working. I don't think anybody really wants this to happen, but it's something that needs to happen."

Segui was available to pinch hit last night because the club hadn't placed him on the disabled list. He took infield practice before the game and carried some bats to the cage but spent his time talking to Tampa Bay's Greg Vaughn.

After going 4-for-28 in the season's first seven games, Segui batted .313 in his next 19. He was 0-for-11 in his past three starts while coping with the injury.

"I think David has played very courageously," said Syd Thrift, vice president for baseball operations. "I said all along that I didn't want him to do anything to hurt himself. You always hate to lose a player of that quality, but at the same time you recognize that in the baseball world, these things happen."

The club plans to announce a roster change before tonight's game.

There's room on the 40-man roster after catcher Izzy Molina cleared waivers and was outrighted to Double-A Bowie.

Asked if the Orioles would look outside the organization for a replacement, Hargrove said, "Not early on." They might call up Ryan McGuire from Triple-A Rochester. He leads the Red Wings with seven homers, recently built a 10-game hitting streak and can play first base.

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