Gold Glove third baseman Adrian Beltre, who has played more than a season and a half with a torn ligament in his left thumb, will undergo surgery and need four to five months of rehabilitation before playing again.
"I should probably have it now, before the season ends, to be fully ready for spring training," Beltre said today. "But I feel guilty walking away from my teammates. I know what I should do, and I probably will do it, but I haven't decided yet.
"I've played with it since I hurt it last year. We did an MRI in December and found the tear, but by then it was too late to do anything and not miss the start of the season."
While weighing his decision, Beltre talked his way into manager Jim Riggleman's pre-game lineup - though that was subject to change.
On the day Beltre has his thumb surgery, he'll also have an operation on his left shoulder to cleanup a painful bone spur there.
"This guy plays hurt, and he may be the toughest player I've ever seen," Riggleman said.
"I'm a fast healer," Beltre said, "but the timing for this surgery is four-to-five months of recovery. If I don't get it done soon, I'm cutting it close for next spring."
Beltre originally injured the thumb diving for a ground ball at Safeco Field in a series that began last May against Texas. When x-rays showed no break, he returned to the lineup after nearly two weeks.