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Ryan Kalish to undergo another surgery; hoping for spring 2014 return

08.12.13 at 10:07 pm ET
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The Red Sox announced that outfielder Ryan Kalish will undergo cervical fusion surgery on Tuesday, a procedure that repairs damaged areas of the vertebral column in the neck. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles, the same orthopedist who performed season-ending surgery on his neck at the end of the 2011 season.

According to multiple sources familiar with the situation, Kalish, 25, plans to continue to pursue a playing career after this latest surgery. The recovery time should permit him to be healthy, barring a setback, by spring training in 2014. Still, this latest health issue continues a staggering run of injuries that have largely cost the outfielder the last three years of his career.

In 54 big league games as a 22-year-old rookie in 2010, Kalish hit .252/.305/.405 with four homers and 10 steals. However, he opened 2011 in Triple-A Pawtucket after the Sox signed Carl Crawford during the prior offseason. In April that year, he suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder while making a diving catch. During the rehab, he first encountered the neck woes that would necessitate surgery with Watkins at the end of that season. Then, following the year, he had another procedure to repair the labrum.

He missed most of spring training in 2012 while recovering, but returned to the field to play 36 big league games in 2012. However, right shoulder woes limited his ability to make an impact last year, and he hit just .229/.272/.260. After rehabbing in Boston last offseason, it was determined just before the start of spring training that Kalish would require surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. That, in turn, left him in Fort Myers this year to rehab, but it was during the rehab — in which he’d progressed to the point of a return to full baseball activities — that a recurrence of neck pain led Kalish to his latest season-ending surgery.

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