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Dustin Pedroia undergoes thumb surgery

11.13.13 at 6:56 pm ET
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The Red Sox announced that second baseman Dustin Pedroia underwent surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb. The procedure was performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Scottsdale, Ariz., the same doctor who repaired Pedroia’s broken hamate after the 2007 season.

Pedroia tore the ligament on Opening Day when he dove headfirst into first base against the Yankees. He nonetheless played a team-high 160 games while hitting .301 with a .372 OBP and .415 slugging mark. Though he acknowledged that the injury limited his power, he still had 53 extra-base hits (including nine homers) while driving in 84 and scoring 91 runs. He also played his characteristically outstanding defense at second, winning a Gold Glove and getting named the Wilson American League Defensive Player of the Year. He started all 16 postseason games, hitting .238/.286/.302.

While there had been some thought that Pedroia might need a ligament transplanted from his wrist to his thumb, that proved unnecessary, with Pedroia needing a repair of his ligament rather than a reconstruction. Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said that the 30-year-old is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season, though he may be brought along gradually at the start of the spring.

“[I'm] fully confident in the regular season,” Cherington told reporters in Orlando. “I think spring training, because it’s Dustin Pedroia and he doesn’t have to worry about making the team, we’ll see where he is, and if we need to buy time, we will. We’ll know more in the next few weeks.”

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