Orioles designated hitter Wilson Betemit to miss at least six to eight weeks with PCL tear

March 26, 2013|By Eduardo A. Encina | The Baltimore Sun

SARASOTA, Fla. — Orioles designated hitter Wilson Betemit hobbled into team’s clubhouse Tuesday morning on crutches with his right leg in a bulky brace.

A day after falling to the ground between first and second base during a Grapefruit League game, Betemit said he’s been told that the Grade 2/3 posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee will keep him out for at least six to eight weeks.

“I feel really heavy today, like [I weigh] 300 pounds,” Betemit said. “But let's see what happens with my rehab in a couple weeks.”

The switch-hitting Betemit was scheduled to be the team’s regular left-handed designated hitter against -- he compiled a .302/.357/.502 while hitting 10 homers in 255 at bats against right-handed pitching last season.

The good news for the Orioles is that Betemit had been told that he can rehab the injury without needing surgery.

“They’ve told me just do rehab, do some ice and some treatment over there and see what happens in six to eight weeks,” Betemit said.

In the fifth inning of Monday’s 12-9 Orioles win over the Red Sox, Betemit was going on a one-out, full-count pitch from first to second when his knee gave out and he fell to the ground in pain. When the injury first occurred, Betemit believed it was worse.

“Oh yeah,” Betemit said. “It felt like my leg and bone, I broke everything. And then after that, after the MRI, they told me it was the ligament in the back. They’re connected to my bone, but everything has stretched too much. That’s why I have to wear this [brace], so they can connect them back.”

Betemit decided against playing winter ball this offseason so he could concentrate on working out for 2013, spending a lot of time at the Orioles’ complex in the Dominican Republic.

Last season ended prematurely for Betemit, who played in just five of the team’s final 48 games and missed the entire postseason with a right wrist injury. He initially missed three weeks and returned on Sept. 1 only to reaggravate the injury 12 days later.

“It’s very disappointing,” Betemit said. “I came into this year ready. I know I wasn’t having a good spring training, but I started feeling good the last couple of days. It’s tough for me. Last year, at the end of the year, I had my wrist and rib and then this year I have a ligament and everything. It’s tough for me this year.”

Betemit is in the second year of a two-year, $3.25 million deal before 2012 and holds a vesting option for the 2014 option worth $3.2 million that automatically kicks in if he has 324 plate appearances this season.

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