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Posted: Sunday March 22, 2009 3:50PM; Updated: Sunday March 22, 2009 3:50PM

Perez to miss 4-5 months with wrist injury

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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) -- Further tests on Fernando Perez's dislocated left wrist revealed additional ligament damage, and the Tampa Bay Rays outfielder will be sidelined four to five months.

Perez underwent a procedure Saturday in Arizona to have pins inserted after ligament damage was discovered on the under part of the wrist, which he injured while making a diving attempt to catch a sinking line drive in a spring training game.

The Rays initially said they expected Perez, who was promoted from the minors last September and appeared in each round of the postseason, to miss at least three months. Now, the projection is four to five months.

"The good news is that we caught it now. Had we not, it could have been something that plagued him for the rest of his career," Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said Sunday.

"The fact that we caught it now, and went in and put some pins into the wrist, it's going to push back the timetable probably two months. Instead of two to three, my guess is four to five. But again, had we not caught this, it could have been something that ended up being a much bigger problem."

The speedy Perez had been competing for a spot as a reserve outfielder. He might have been the opening-day center fielder if B.J. Upton is not fully recovered from offseason shoulder surgery and a bruised left hand.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
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