Surgery For Santana; Out 4-6 Months

Carlos Santana ... after his severe knee injury.

Catcher Carlos Santana will undergo left knee surgery Friday at the Cleveland Clinic. The team announced that the surgery will be performed by Dr, Rick Parker who will stabilize the lateral side (outside aspect) of Santana's left knee with a repair of his lateral collateral ligament. Recovery time is four-to-six months and the switch-hitter is expected to be ready for the 2011 season.

Santana was hurt in a devastating home-plate collision with Boston's Ryan Kalish at Fenway Park. The force of Kalish crashing into Santana, who had his left leg extending in trying to block the plate, sent the catcher's shoe flying off. Santana was bowled over backwards, and though he hung on to the baseball after tagging out Kalish, the young catcher didn't move for several minutes.

The injury appeared quite serious from the moment it happened, yet the Indians curiously released a statement after the game that they were optimistic that Santana did not sustain severe damage to the knee.

The definition of "severe" apparently has multiple levels, some more or lese "severe", depending on the point of view.

Here's hoping that the usual team releasing following the operation that always proclaims that a player had "successful surgery" indeed comes true.

The truth is, nobody knows how successful a surgery is until after recovery is complete. "Successful", could be interpreted at the time of the operation to mean the doctor technically accomplished his mission by repairing the injured area in the manner intended.

Yet a couple decades ago, the Indians continually put out statements that designated hitter Andre Thornton had "successful" knee surgery. In fact, they issued one after the other ... each time Thornton went back in for another procedure after complications set in, or further surgery was needed. Clearly, the first, or even the second or third operation was not a "success" in terms of returning Thornton to his previous level of physical ability.

Santana is one of the most promising prospects in recent Indians history and this injury brings to mind a similar situation that happened almost 40 years to the day.

Frank Derry, publisher of Indians Ink Magazine point out in our upcoming issue that it was in July 1970 when Tribe catcher Ray Fosse was hurt in the All-Star Game. He was bowled over by Cincinnati's Pete Rose and his career left laying in the dust at Riverfront Stadium. Fosse had "successful" shoulder surgery. He was never the same player, however.

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