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Tampa Bay Rays' B.J. Upton has surgery on torn labrum

B.J. Upton played with a torn labrum that sapped his power until the postseason.


B.J. Upton played with a torn labrum that sapped his power until the postseason.

Rays centerfielder B.J. Upton had surgery Tuesday to repair the labrum in his left (non-throwing) shoulder and is expected to make a full recovery by opening day.

Upton had anticipated he would need the surgery — which was performed by Dr. James Andrews in Alabama — after revealing in September he had been playing with a torn labrum. Executive vice president Andrew Friedman said "we expect him to be ready during spring training and be in a position to be in our opening day lineup."

Upton, 24, who spent his first full season in centerfield, is coming off an MVP-caliber postseason, in which he hit seven home runs (one shy of the major-league postseason record) and had 16 RBIs (three short of the record). Upton hit just nine homers in the regular season but acknowledged the shoulder injury had impacted his swing. He led the Rays in stolen bases with 44 and on-base percentage at .383.

Upton made some mechanical adjustments and had said he was feeling better during the postseason, when he could take a full swing and pull the ball to leftfield. But surgery was still required.

Friedman said the Rays are still going through tests and scans to see if veteran RHP Troy Percival will indeed need surgeries on his back and knee, which the 39-year-old thought he might require in the offseason.

Joe Smith can be reached at

Tampa Bay Rays' B.J. Upton has surgery on torn labrum 11/12/08 [Last modified: Friday, November 14, 2008 9:14pm]
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