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Cleveland Indians

Doctors pick surgical solution for Santana

By Sheldon Published: August 5, 2010

BOSTON: Carlos Santana will undergo surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Friday morning to put together the sprained lateral collateral ligament in his left knee.

The decision to have surgery was not the most positive thing the Indians could have expected, but it could have been much worse.

""Carlos is expected to make a full recovery by the beginning of the 2011 championship season,'' head trainer Lonnie Soloff said this afternoon.

However, there was no guarantee that Santana would be ready to engage in full baseball activities by the outset of spring training.

""Recovery is typically four to six months,'' Soloff said, ""so that puts us right up against spring training.''

On the other hand, the fact that the ligament can be ""repaired'' is better news than if the rookie catcher was forced to undergo an operation to ""reconstruct'' the knee. That is, Dr. Rick Parker will not have to transplant a ligament from another part of Santana's body into the knee.

""Typically, reocvery time for, say, an ACL reconstruction is six months to a year,'' Soloff said. ""It depends on how conservative the surgeon is and the rehabilitation (process).''

Manager Manny Acta wasn't pleased that his high-profile rookie would miss the season, but he knee there were worse outcomes.

""This is not good news, but according to what we hear earlier, this could have been worse,'' he said. ""Carlos would have missed the rest of the season, anyway.''

Acta decided to coach third base tonight in the wake of a two-game suspension to Steve Smith, a punishment stemming from a bench-clearing incident Tuesday night.

""I don't think it would be fair to put a guy out there who never coached third in the big leagues,'' said Acta, who was the Mets' third base coach. ""Especially here at Fenway. This is the toughest park to coach third, because of the Green Monster.''

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