DETROIT (AP) – Tigers outfielder Brennan Boesch is set to have surgery on his injured right thumb and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
Boesch said Sunday he doesn’t have a concrete date yet for the operation but hopes to have it sometime in the next week. He hit .283 with 16 home runs in 115 games this year, but he’s played only once since Aug. 24.
Boesch said he may be able to pick up a bat within five weeks of the surgery, but he doesn’t expect to be ready to return even if Detroit makes a lengthy run through the postseason.
“We tried everything,” Boesch said. “Started with injections, moved on to a protective pad that didn’t work. So basically, I was trying to change my swing in order to be able to get back out there, and wasn’t able to do a swing that would allow me to compete.”
The Tigers led the AL Central by six games heading into Sunday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox.
“I’m going to be the best cheerleader we got,” Boesch said. “I asked the team to be able to stay and travel with the team, and they’ve obliged that, which I’m very grateful for. I’m going to be there every step of the way, I just won’t be on the field.”
Detroit did activate reliever Al Alburquerque from the disabled list on Sunday. Alburquerque sustained a concussion when he was hit in the head with a ball during batting practice Aug. 12.
Boesch hit 14 homers as a rookie last year and seemed to be making strides this season, providing solid secondary production in a lineup that includes slugger Miguel Cabrera. His absence figures to mean more playing time for Magglio Ordonez, who was hitting just .239 entering Sunday’s game but had a .379 average since Aug. 15.
“We can win,” Boesch said. “If you’ve been watching the games – without a doubt in my mind, we have the guys to do it.”
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