BOSTON -- Dustin Pedroia's likely going to miss the first two months of the 2018 season. The good news: once he's able to come back, the Red Sox expect he'll look like himself on the field.
The second baseman Dustin Pedroia had what the team called a "cartilage restoration procedure" on his left knee Wednesday morning, with an estimated seven months until he's back in big league games.
"The feeling is that Pedey should return to his pre-injury playing form," Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski wrote in an email Wednesday.
Pedroia and lefty starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez both underwent knee operations this offseason. Rodriguez, who had his right knee repaired after repeated subluxations, is expected back sooner. But the fact both Pedroia and E-Rod won't be ready for the start of the season does not have the Red Sox shifting gears in their planning, Dombrowski said.
"The surgeries to Eduardo and Pedey do not really affect our offseason plans," Dombrowski wrote. "Eduardo is scheduled to miss only a short time of the season and feel we presently have the starting pitching depth to handle that. In Pedey’s case, the timetable is approximately a month longer, but, we do have multiple internal candidates to play second base until Pedey returns."
Marco Hernandez, Josh Rutledge and Brock Holt are among infielders that could help fill in. Hernandez and Rutledge are recovering from season-ending surgeries themselves. Eduardo Nunez is a free agent whom perhaps the Sox will be more keen to re-sign now.
Pedroia was managing considerable pain at the end of the 2017 season.
"We had to try and find a way to do what we did so I could be out there," he said the day the Red Sox were eliminated from the playoffs, Oct. 9. "But if you were to get it fixed, the recovery is a long time. So I have a lot of things to weigh in with the doctors and figure it out.”
The magnitude of the decision seems to be the reason Pedroia did not go for surgery, say, within a couple days of the season's conclusion.
"In regards to the timing, this is only a couple of weeks after our season ended," Dombrowski said. "He visited with multiple doctors to solicit their opinions before everyone met to make the best decision possible. Then, once surgery was decided upon, this was the first date available."