10/24/2003 6:08 PM ET
Giambi to have surgery after Series
Knee injury won't keep slugger from Yankees lineup
NEW YORK -- Jason Giambi will undergo diagnostic arthroscopic surgery to reveal the extent of an injury to his left knee as soon as the World Series ends this weekend, Brian Cashman, the team's general manager, said on Friday. Giambi has been diagnosed with an inflamed tendon and patella tendinitis behind the sore knee.
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
The ongoing injury caused manager Joe Torre to take Giambi out of the starting lineup on Thursday night in Game 5 of the World Series at Pro Player Stadium and replace him at first base with Nick Johnson. Giambi slugged a pinch-hit homer in the ninth inning of the Yankees' 6-4 loss to the Marlins, his first World Series home run and fourth of the playoffs.
Cashman and Torre said they both expected Giambi to be back in the lineup as the designated hitter this weekend in the final games of the best-of-seven series at Yankee Stadium. The Marlins lead, 3-2, and can wrap up their second championship with a Game 6 win on Saturday night.
"He'll play through it and he'll DH for Game 6 and hopefully Game 7 if we can get the job done tomorrow night," Cashman said.
Giambi was sent to see Yankees orthopedic specialist Dr. Stuart Hershon on Thursday and underwent an MRI exam.
"It revealed an inflamed tendon and patella tendinitis as well,' Cashman said. "It's chronic. He's been dealing with the knee issue all year. We tried to tough it up and keep it as quiet as possible. But then it got to the point where it was becoming a problem and we were more open to talking about it. He'll have diagnostic arthroscopic surgery upon conclusion of the World Series."
Giambi, playing in his first World Series, is hitting .267 (4-for-15) with a double, homer and only one RBI.
He was at first base in the first two games this week at Miami because the DH is not utilized in National League ballparks. But Torre noticed Giambi gimping through batting practice on Thursday night and yanked him from the lineup.
"I'm hopeful he'll be fine," Torre said on Friday. "I'm going to DH him tomorrow -- that's my thought right now. Thursday night, the home run, hopefully that gives him a little shot in the arm. He's been struggling, trying to do too much in my mind. That's easy for me to say because I don't have to get up in the batter's box."
Torre also said he's inclined to put the struggling Alfonso Soriano back in the lineup, but he won't make a decision until Saturday. Soriano, batting .168 (3-for-19) with a homer, two RBIs and nine strikeouts in the series, was benched for Game 5 and replaced at second base by Enrique Wilson. Soriano later pinch-hit, struck out and played the bottom of the eighth inning in right field.
"I'd like to have him back in the starting lineup, but I've given my head a day off today," Torre said. "We'll talk (Saturday). I'll see if I can read how he's doing. I think he's just pressing, but when you go up against Game 6 and it's an elimination game, it doesn't make it any more relaxing."
As far as David Wells is concerned, Torre wasn't sure if the left-hander would be available again to even throw an inning of relief in the World Series. Wells started on Thursday, but left after one inning because of back spasms. He was at the stadium on Friday for treatment and wasn't available for comment.
"Well, David Wells had a tough time carrying his luggage off the bus this morning," Torre said. "My guess is that he won't be available on Saturday. He's dealt with this back problem for a long time now. But his workout day between his (Game 1 and Game 5) starts was terrific. He had no hint of what happened (Thursday). So it wouldn't surprise me that for Game 7 that he could be available -- not probably, but could be."
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This
story was not subject to the approval of Major League
Baseball or its clubs.