McPherson opts for back surgery

McPherson to undergo surgery on ailing back

Dallas McPherson will have surgery Tuesday to repair a lower-back condition that has not improved through rehab.

The power-hitting third baseman will undergo a procedure to remove a disk in his lower back and also to repair a fractured vertebra, which McPherson said was the source of much of his pain over the last four years. Orthopedic and spine surgeon, Andrew Dossett will lead the operation in Dallas.

"We're going to get it fixed and get it fixed for good; I've been hurting for four years," McPherson said. "I'm pretty confident. I've been dealing with the pain for a long time and I can deal with it some more but I just want to get rid of the pain and play pain-free. I'm confident that I'll come back."

McPherson said he's been told the average recovery time from this type of surgery is six months but individuals heal at different rates. A normal recovery would bring McPherson back around August, but anything longer would wipe out the entire 2007 season. His mind is set on returning while his main goal is getting healthy.

"It is constant pain and it's affecting daily life. It is not just about baseball anymore," McPherson said. "In my mind I'm setting myself up for August; that is how I'm setting up my mind and I'm definitely not saying 2007 is a wash but we'll see. Six months is my goal."

McPherson, who can hit the ball out to all fields, has been seen as one of the answers to the dearth of power in the Angels' batting order but keeping him on the roster has been a problem.

After the Angels didn't re-sign Troy Glaus following the 2004 season, McPherson was ready to step into the starting third base job but the lower-back problem erased most of the 2005 Cactus League schedule and he started the year on the disabled list.

He returned to the Angels and played in 61 games that year while batting .244 and hitting eight homers. But a left hip problem surfaced which led to another trip to the DL. McPherson eventually had surgery in August 2005 to remove a bone spur from his hip, which erased the remainder of the 2005 season.

McPherson was limited to 40 games in two separate stints with the Angels last season that also included time on the DL because of his back. He hit .261 with seven homers with the Angels but hit another 17 home runs at Salt Lake to lead the Bees.

The 26-year-old hoped to avoid surgery and opted to rehab his back this offseason but the pain was a constant reminder his condition was not going to improve without the procedure.

"When we met with doctors in September we decided that a real good rehab program would do it but it never really got better," McPherson said. "It is not as common as other surgeries [for athletes] but athletes come back from it and I believe it is something to come back from."

The Angels will select from a group that includes Chone Figgins, Shea Hillenbrand, Robb Quinlan and Maicer Izturis in competition at third base this spring.

Rehab report: An MRI on Kendry Morales' left knee Monday revealed no serious damage.

Performed by team orthopedist Lewis Yocum, test results showed scar tissue left over from a previous injury. Morales experienced pain in the knee two weeks ago during the playoffs in the Dominican winter league where he hit .263 for the Cibao Giants and led the league with 11 home runs during the regular season.

Morales will not require surgery and will report to Arizona next week for a rehab program to remove the scar tissue.

Mike Scarr is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.