MLB

Beckett optimistic about upcoming surgery

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LOS ANGELES (AP)

Josh Beckett realizes he has a long road ahead to get back to the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

A day after the club announced that the three-time All-Star right-hander will have season-ending surgery to treat the thoracic outlet syndrome in his neck, the three-time All-Star talked about what lies ahead once the surgery is performed in about 1 1-2 weeks in Dallas.

''This surgery has a good track record, and I think it's going to put me in a better position than I was,'' Beckett said Sunday. ''We tried a lot of aggressive treatments. We tried old stuff. We tried new stuff. Stuff other people have tried. Unfortunately, nothing did the trick.''

Beckett was 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA in eight starts. He is expected to be ready for the start of spring training.

''I think I had to prepare myself for the worst-case scenario,'' he said. ''And the worst-case scenario is just the time that I'm down. I've never had surgery, so I'm not looking forward to it. But I was kind of preparing for that, and if it didn't happen it would have been icing on the cake.''

Manager Don Mattingly acknowledged he didn't have much knowledge about the details of the surgery, but he's seen what it's done for St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter.

''I know it's complicated, but I know Carpenter had it. He came back and pitched a little bit, and he had more complications,'' Mattingly said. ''I know from Josh's standpoint he didn't want to get into the winter with this. Optimistically, if everything went perfect he can be back in three months. He didn't want to wait and wait and wait and not be ready for next season too. You start jeopardizing two instead of one. Once he started having the tingling he knew.''

Beckett's last start was May 13. He joined the Dodgers from Boston last August in a nine-player trade along with first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, left fielder Carl Crawford and utilityman Nick Punto.

Tagged: Cardinals, Josh Beckett, Dodgers

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