September 4th, 2011

Boesch to have season-ending surgery on right thumb

The Tigers and Brennan Boesch tried all they could to get him back to playing, but in the end, the torn ligament in his right thumb still isn’t allowing him to swing. So they’re going to go ahead and schedule surgery to repair it, which will end his season.

Boesch and the Tigers will try to set up the surgery for this week while the Tigers are in Cleveland, where noted hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham is based. He’s been taking care of Boesch ever since he tore the ligament on a swing against the Indians at Progressive Field last month.

The good news for the Tigers is that he should be fine for Spring Training. The bad news, of course, is that any postseason run is going to have to take place without him.

“We tried everything,” Boesch said. “We started with injections, moved on to the protective pad [on the batting glove] that didn’t work. So basically I was trying to change my swing in order to get back out there. I wasn’t able to do a swing that would allow me to compete. We tried everything we could. It’s the most frustrating thing I’ve ever had to deal with, but it’s part of the game.”

You might also remember from the other day that he tried wearing a splint that helped out Jeff Francoeur when he played through a similar tear two years ago. But as mentioned yesterday, the swings are too different. Boesch’s swing puts too much pressure on his bottom hand.

“It’s very painful,” Boesch said. “The ligament is torn and it’s in my bottom hand. Anyone who has watched my swing, it’s not a soft, easy swing. It’s a violent swing. Every swing I took since I had the injury, I felt it to varying degrees.”

The recovery process, he said, is relatively easy. However, even if he had the surgery tomorrow, the process of getting back to a Major League swing, not simply getting healthy, would take too long to have him ready for any part of the postseason. He’ll stick around with the team and travel with them, but won’t be active.

“Next season won’t be impacted in any way,” Boesch said. “I’ll have a full offseason to recover and be back for next year.”

As for this year, replacing Boesch falls on Magglio Ordonez and Andy Dirks. If Ordonez keeps hitting like he has this week, replacing that production becomes a lot easier.