CLEVELAND (AP) — Nick Swisher’s disappointing second season with the Indians is over.
Swisher underwent surgery on both knees Wednesday, procedures the first baseman/outfielder hopes will alleviate pain and prolong his career. The 33-year-old has underperformed after getting a four-year, $56 million contract from the Indians before last season. He entered 2014 looking to improve on a sub-par first season with Cleveland, but he’s not been able to produce and the Indians finally put him on the disabled list on Aug. 10.
The Indians said Swisher’s surgery was in Los Angeles. He’ll need 8 to 10 weeks to recover and is expected to make a full recovery
After Indians team physician, Dr. Richard Parker, recommended surgery, Swisher got a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who is on the Dodgers’ medical staff. ElAttrache confirmed the earlier diagnosis that Swisher has chronic medial knee discomfort as a result of medial meniscus wear and tear in both knees.
“It’s definitely unfortunate,” Indians infielder Mike Aviles said in Minnesota before Wednesday’s game. “Everyone knows the energy he brings and what he brings to the table. It’s unfortunate that he was dealing with some pain in his knees and we’re pretty much losing him for the rest of the year here. Anytime you lose one of your veterans like that, it’s always tough, but at the same time we’ve got to come together more than ever and try to pick up the slack and try to move forward and win some ballgames.”
Before he was sidelined, Swisher was batting .208 with eight home runs and 42 RBIs in 97 games.
Last season, Swisher batted .246 — his lowest average since 2008 — and hit 22 homers with 63 RBIs, a career-low. Despite the drop-off, Swisher is one of just two AL players to hit at least 20 homers in each of the past nine seasons.
The Indians have managed to stay in the playoff chase without Swisher. They entered Wednesday’s game 6 1-2 games out of first place in the AL Central.
Swisher has also played with the New York Yankees, White Sox and Oakland Athletics.
AP freelancer Patrick Donnelly in Minneapolis contributed to this report.