Giants second baseman Freddy Sanchez had back surgery Thursday, putting him out for the rest of this season and perhaps ending his career, multiple media outlets reported.
Sanchez underwent the operation to remove a part of a lower-back disc in a procedure known as a micro discectomy, which was performed by spinal specialist Dr. Robert Watkins and went as planned.
“Well, he’s out for the year,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, according to Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. “It’s been a long road for Freddy. I know he’s disappointed. He certainly played a critical role in our success in 2010. He helped us win a World Series.”
Sanchez, 34, has not played at all for the Giants this season and hasn’t played since June 10, 2011. On that day, he dislocated his shoulder while diving for a ground ball.
He signed a $6 million extension last year and will be a free agent after this season.
Whether the Giants would want to re-sign Sanchez is unclear.
“You don’t know what happens when the season’s over,” Bochy said. “We still remain optimistic, but this is a definite that we won’t have him all year.”
He had hoped to be ready for Opening Day this season, but throwing was still a problem in spring training. Sanchez moved to third base in late April, hoping to avoid the throw across his body he needed to make as a second baseman in a double play.
But then his back began to bother him, and he has been unable to participate in baseball activities since.
After a slow start, Ryan Theriot has taken over as the Giants’ everyday second baseman. Theriot signed a one-year, $1.25 million deal with the Giants in January, and is hitting .265 this season, heading into Thursday’s action.
Sanchez was a key component in the Giants victory in 2010 World Series. He hit .292 that season, and was hitting .289 last season at te time of his injury.
Sanchez was a three-time All-Star with the Pirates and hit .344 to win the NL batting crown in 2006.