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Fielder facing season-ending neck surgery



BY STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP SPORTS WRITER

Prince Fielder is expected to have neck surgery next week and miss the rest of the season.

Fielder has been out with a herniated disk in his neck, and surgery was recommended after a follow-up exam and another scan Thursday with Dr. Drew Dossett.

General manager Jon Daniels said the team would get second opinion about surgery, but were "expecting that to be confirmed."

Daniels said Dossett was tentatively scheduled to do a cervical fusion Tuesday. That operation has a typical recovery time of three to four months, and the GM said he anticipated Fielder being able to be fully recovered before spring training next year.

The Rangers already have a majors-high 13 players on the disabled list. Fielder will become the 14th when that move is made Friday.

Fielder had played in 547 consecutive games, then the longest active streak in the majors, before receiving a nerve root block injection Saturday to treat his neck. He had played all 162 games four of the past five seasons, and missed only one game in 2010.

Before that, the durable first baseman that turned 30 earlier this month hadn't missed a game since Sept. 14, 2010. The last time he had missed consecutive games was Aug. 24-25, 2007, while with Milwaukee.

Texas acquired Fielder last winter from Detroit in a trade for second baseman Ian Kinsler. Fielder is signed through 2020, the rest of the nine-year deal he signed with the Tigers after going there as a free agent for the 2012 season.

After the injection, Fielder took a couple of days off before an exam Monday. Daniels said the slugger's strength tested normal then and that his symptoms had largely gone away, so he was given clearance to resume baseball activity.

Fielder was initially listed in the lineup Tuesday night against Seattle, but was scratched more than three hours before the game after feeling weakness in his arm while taking swings in the batting cage. And he felt no better Wednesday.

"His symptoms have gotten worse," Daniels said Thursday, describing Fielder as frustrated for not feeling like himself and being able to help the team.

Daniels said he wasn't surprised by the news he got from Dossett on Thursday.

"Talking to (Fielder) and seeing him, you knew this was something that was bothering him," Daniels said. "We were hoping the injection could get him through the season, and sometimes you have that kind of response. The initial response was positive. But when he had the setback on Tuesday, we kind of felt this is where it was headed."

Daniels said there is a very high success rate for the kind of surgery Fielder will have.

"We're looking forward to seeing this guy healthy and doing what he can do," Daniels said. "It's more of a 2015 thing. We're going to miss him this year."

Fielder has hit .247 with three home runs and 16 RBIs in 42 games this season. The only time he has played fewer games was 39 as a rookie in 2005.

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tmccull52 May 23 2014 at 9:15 AM

The biggest setback for the Rangers is that they acquired Prince Fielder at all. You want him to play? Tie a string to a hotdog and drag it along the base paths. Not only will his neck be miraculously healed, he'll give Usain Bolt a run for his money.

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zrsz1 tmccull52 May 23 2014 at 9:21 AM

LMAO !!

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elendil3136 May 22 2014 at 10:28 PM

Looks like the Detroit Tigers unloaded both Fielder and his contract just in time.

Meantime, Ian Kinsler is not only tearing the cover off of the ball, he can also run the bases. Fielder's time from first to third often needed a calender to measure.

At least Ranger fans won't have to watch him hit less than half of his weight in the playoffs, like Detroit fans did last year.

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1 reply
environmental941 elendil3136 May 23 2014 at 9:25 AM

This guy was a pain in the rear to deal with in Detroit , Kudos to Detroit GM for seeing the handwriting on the wall and getting out from under this guy! As for his weight , if this guy doesn't slim down this will be the first of many many injuries he comes up with, even superstars age and when they do extra weight costs you dearly!

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CPoho May 22 2014 at 9:00 PM

Now how smart does your genius move look, Jon Daniels? You screwed up big time. We had a team that worked well together and really knew what the word "team" meant. I hope the next big move the Rangers make is YOU.

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jshedl10411 May 22 2014 at 9:33 PM

Pray for a successful operation and speedy recovery. Detroit fan.

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1 reply
elendil3136 jshedl10411 May 22 2014 at 10:32 PM

Now cut that out! I can hear you laughing from here.

Ok, I am too, but lets not rub it in.

Another Detroit fan.

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pswid513 May 23 2014 at 10:43 AM

This big lug wishes he could hit his weight let alone anything else. Detroit was glad to see him go and Texas can keep him and his under 200 average in the post season. All talk no action is what he is!

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Hello Wilsons May 23 2014 at 10:11 AM

Jon Daniels is an idiot to have signed Fielder in the first place. Daniels arrogance bit him right in the butt. In Texas we hear he signed Fielder without a physical. Who does something like that. Fielder knew he had an injury and wanted to get out of Detroit. He did, and now he has hurt the Rangers.

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endmillll May 23 2014 at 8:20 AM

hell there all getting old in texas anymore look at walker texas ranger.

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rjen164497 May 23 2014 at 7:05 AM

When are these guys going to smarten up? The use of PHD's is going to strengthen part of your body, and weaken other parts. For every action there is a reaction. MLB will never tell you the increasing rate of injuries year by year. Players of the 50's and 60's played every game year after year. Someday these abusers will sue the league for not stopping them from using.

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sonnyuomo1 May 23 2014 at 6:32 AM

I feel bad for the possible injury, but he wasted his talent....he was good at some point, but got fat and lazy...and paid...so there goes the motivation...

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tmccull52 May 23 2014 at 6:30 AM

By losing Prince Fielder for the balance of the season, they aren't out anything... except for Ian Kinsler. Fielder was virtually nonexistant during the post season when he was with the Detroit Tigers. Worse, he acted like he didn't care; he was getting paid big money for contributing nothing. Detroit celebrated when Fielder was traded to the Rangers. Next to former Lions head coach, Jim Schwartz, Fielder was arguably the most hated sports figure in Detroit.

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