04/21/09 6:35 PM ET
Doumit out with broken right wrist
Catcher to have surgery Thursday, miss 8-10 weeks
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
In order to give him the best opportunity for a quick and full recovery, Doumit will have surgery on the wrist on Thursday to have pins inserted into the bone. Those pins will pull the bone back together.
Dr. Mark Baratz, the team's hand specialist, will perform the surgery at Allegheny General Hospital.
"It is the bone in the wrist that actually gets the least amount of natural blood supply, which lends to not a good prognosis in terms of natural healing," Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington said, explaining the need for surgery. "They'll go in there and repair it. It allows Ryan the best opportunity to heal fully. It also probably allows the quickest return to baseball activity.
"If you or I have this done, they probably throw a cast on it and the prognosis for full healing for the union of the bones is still just OK for that time," Huntington added. "The downside is the atrophy that sets in, so casting is really not an option right now long-term."
Huntington added that Doumit will likely feel discomfort in his wrist for the rest of the season, even after surgery and a full recovery period. Still, the prognosis is good for a full recovery without any lingering long-term effects.
Doumit injured his wrist on a swing in the fourth inning of Sunday's game.
"It felt more like a little grab," said Doumit. "I didn't think too much of it."
He remained in the game to catch another three innings, and it wasn't until after the game and on Monday that his wrist began to ache. Doumit then had X-rays on Monday, which came back negative. An MRI also provided inconclusive results, which led Baratz to recommend Tuesday's CT scan.
"To see the results come out and see a fracture there is not what I wanted to see," said Doumit, who had hoped to make at least 140 starts this season. "It [stinks]. We're off to such a great start. We have such a great thing going. To have something like this is devastating."
Doumit's initial reaction to the results was to want to play through the injury for the rest of the season. However, the slim chance of a natural recovery and the potential long-term effects of not taking care of the injury prompted him to agree to surgery.
Doumit has asked to remain with the Pirates during his recovery and rehab, and he will do so. He will likely undergo another CT scan in about four to five weeks to see how the bone is healing. If that scan gives a positive prognosis, Doumit will move on to his rehab work. If not, there is the potential he could be out for longer than the expected eight-to-10-week period.
"I always like to beat the odds," Doumit said, hopeful of a quicker-than-expected recovery. "But it's very important that it gets right. Me being out there doesn't do any good if I can't be myself."
This is another hit against Doumit, who has been criticized as being injury prone throughout his professional career. This will be his sixth stint on the disabled list since 2006, as he has suffered injuries to his wrist, thumb, ankle and hamstring while in the big leagues.
Knowing his injury history, the Pirates signed Doumit to a three-year, $11.5 million deal this offseason that potentially can pay him $26.2 million over the next five seasons.
Before the injury, Doumit had started 11 of the team's first 12 games. He was hitting .244 with two home runs and nine RBIs.
"Obviously we're disappointed, not as much that Ryan can't play, but [because] Ryan has worked so hard," Bucs manager John Russell said. "He's a big part of what we're doing in Pittsburgh. I feel extremely hurt for Ryan because of the type of work he's put in."
With Doumit now on the 15-day disabled list, the Pirates recalled catcher Robinzon Diaz from Triple-A Indianapolis to take his roster spot. Diaz is expected to arrive during Tuesday's game, and he will be available immediately.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.