August 24th, 2010

Magglio to undergo season-ending ankle surgery

Tigers All-Star outfielder Magglio Ordonez will undergo surgery Wednesday to stabilize his fractured right ankle, a procedure that erases any possibility he had of returning this season.

With that operation now set, it’s possible that the July 24 slide into home plate on which Ordonez suffered his injury will be the final play in his illustrious Tigers tenure.

Ordonez spent Tuesday in Los Angeles visiting with Dr. Philip Kwong, a foot and ankle specialist at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic. The doctor measured the healing in Ordonez’s ankle that has taken place in the month since the injury and recommended surgery.

It isn’t a major procedure, but it’ll require enough recovery time that he won’t be able to come back in September as previously hoped. The original timetable on Ordonez’s recovery was 4-6 weeks, but the fact that Ordonez was still on crutches after his follow-up exam last week in Detroit put that very much in doubt.

Ordonez is expected to be fully recovered in time for next season. Where he’ll be playing next season, though, is anyone’s guess. When asked about Ordonez’s contract situation, team president/general manager Dombrowski said Tuesday night that any discussion on any players for next season won’t take place until the end of this season, an organizational policy.

If the Tigers decline Ordonez’s option, he would become a free agent this winter. They could still try to re-sign him as a lower salary, though Ordonez could still try to test the market to see what offers he can get from other teams. Teams have a 15-day period after the end of the season in which they hold exclusive rights to negotiate with their own free agents.

The 36-year-old Ordonez was batting .303 with 12 home runs and 59 RBIs this year at the time of the injury. His loss has had a big impact on the Tigers lineup, where he would usualy be batting in front of AL MVP candidate Miguel Cabrera.