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February 22, 2020
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Mitch Haniger has back surgery

Mitch Haniger has back surgery
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Greg Johns

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PEORIA, Ariz. — Mitch Haniger’s difficult run of health issues hit another bump on Thursday, as the Mariners’ 2018 All-Star right fielder underwent his second surgery in the past month to deal with ongoing problems with a herniated disk.
Haniger had sports hernia surgery in late January after feeling pain

PEORIA, Ariz. — Mitch Haniger’s difficult run of health issues hit another bump on Thursday, as the Mariners’ 2018 All-Star right fielder underwent his second surgery in the past month to deal with ongoing problems with a herniated disk.

Haniger had sports hernia surgery in late January after feeling pain while ramping up his offseason hitting program in California. The latest procedure was a diskectomy, according to a source, which removes the damaged portion of a herniated disk in the spine that can cause pain to radiate down the arms or legs.

Haniger hasn’t played since early June of last season after rupturing a testicle on a foul ball. He attempted to come back from that injury several times last season, but he remained sidelined by pain in his back and core muscles.

The Mariners have been cautious when discussing Haniger’s potential return, with general manager Jerry Dipoto saying two weeks ago that he wasn’t certain when the 29-year-old might return.

“We’re just fingers crossed,” Dipoto said at that time. “We have no expectation on his timeline until we actually see him live [at Spring Training]. We’re not going to push him. Mitch will return at his own pace. Whether that is some time around Opening Day or sometime around the middle of the season, I have no idea. We’re going to see where it takes us.”

Haniger was initially expected to miss at least 6-8 weeks after the first surgery. While patients typically can return to work within a few weeks of a diskectomy, professional baseball isn’t a typical job and Haniger’s return almost certainly will be pushed further back by his latest procedure.

Manager Scott Servais noted Thursday morning that there was no timetable on Haniger’s return.

“I know he’s frustrated with everything he went through last year,” Servais said. “He’ll work his tail off, and we’ll get him back as soon as we can.”

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.



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