Hart undergoes surgery on right knee

MILWAUKEE — Brewers first baseman Corey Hart underwent knee surgery Friday, three days after it was originally scheduled.

Brewers physician Dr. William Raasch debrided the joint surface in Hart’s right knee and repaired a small meniscal tear. The surgery is expected to keep Hart out for four months, with his return expected in late May at the earliest.

It was announced Jan. 18 that Hart needed knee surgery and that the procedure would take place Tuesday in Milwaukee. On Tuesday morning, the Brewers said Hart had postponed the surgery and would seek a second opinion from Dr. Richard Steadman in Vail, Colo.

Steadman agreed with Raasch’s initial diagnosis and the surgery took place Friday.

The 30-year-old Hart — who missed most of last spring after having surgery to repair cartilage tears in the same knee — noticed swelling in his knee while going through offseason workouts.

After surgery last spring, Hart recovered quickly and was ready for Opening Day. When first baseman Mat Gamel tore his ACL in early May, Hart shifted from right field to first base. A combination of Hart playing well at first base and the emergence of right fielder Norichika Aoki led to the team’s decision to keep Hart at first base for the 2013 season.

The two-time All-Star hit .270 with 30 home runs and 83 RBI in 2012. With Hart out for the majority of the first two months of the season, Gamel will get the first crack at becoming the everyday first baseman.

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