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Fielder facing season-ending neck surgery

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Fielder facing season-ending neck surgery
Rangers Prince Fielder, who is on the disabled list, watches from the dugout as Texas faces the Seattle Mariners at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, Wednesday, May 21, 2014. (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - MAY 14: Prince Fielder #84 of the Texas Rangers coonects on an RBI single in the third inning of their game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on May 14, 2014 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - MAY 13: Prince Fielder #84 of the Texas Rangers comes to the plate in the first inning of their game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on May 13, 2014 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 11: Prince Fielder #84 of the Texas Rangers bats against the Boston Red Sox at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 11, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. The Boston Red Sox defeated the Texas Rangers 5-2. (Photo by John Williamson/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 11: First baseman Prince Fielder #84 of the Texas Rangers looks to home plate for the pitch from his position in the field during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 11, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. The Boston Red Sox defeated the Texas Rangers 5-2. (Photo by John Williamson/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 09: Prince Fielder #84 of the Texas Rangers singles against the Boston Red Sox in the third inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 9, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 04: Prince Fielder #84 of the Texas Rangers prepares to bat against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 4, 2014 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 02: Prince Fielder #84 of the Texas Rangers waits on deck in the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 2, 2014 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 29: Prince Fielder #84 of the Texas Rangers looks on from the dugout before the game against the Oakland Athletics at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 29, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 28: Prince Fielder #84 of the Texas Rangers hits in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 28, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
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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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