McGehee to see specialist; DiFelice, Burns too

118486.jpgBreak-out Brewers third baseman Casey McGehee should get a better idea
Monday whether he’ll need offseason knee surgery, and he’s not the only
banged-up Brewer set to spend the team’s final off-day at the doctor’s
office.  

McGehee was to travel Sunday night to Denver ahead
of the rest of the team to see a specialist for answers about his
aching right knee. Reliever Mark DiFelice, meanwhile, departed separately for Los Angeles, where he has a Monday morning appointment
with noted orthopedist Lewis Yocum for another opinion on his injured
right shoulder. Fellow reliever Mike Burns remained in Milwaukee for an MRI of his sore right shoulder. 

McGehee, who is in the middle of a torrid
September and is being pushed by the Brewers as a National League
Rookie of the Year candidate, has been playing on a sore right knee for
at least three months. He has been extremely hesitant to discuss it,
but broke his silence on Sunday morning. 

“We’ve been able to
manage it pretty well,” said McGehee, crediting head athletic trainer
Roger Caplinger and assistant trainer Dan Wright. “We’ve done
everything it takes to make sure I’m available every day. But we’re
getting down to the end and we have to get it re-evaluated to see where
we’re at and know exactly what we need to do going into the
offseason.” 

No surgery is scheduled yet, McGehee said. His
ailment has been described as tendonitis, but McGehee was not sure that
was an accurate label.

“I don’t know what the terminology of
it is,” McGehee said, “But I do know that we’re not talking about ACL,
MCL or meniscus tears. There’s no torn tendons or anything like that.
In my mind, it’s just sore. I’m just waiting to see what these guys
say, and we’ll go from there.” 

Entering the Brewers-Phillies
series finale on Sunday, McGehee ranked third in the Majors with 24
RBIs in September, and he was batting .306 with 15 home runs and 64
RBIs. McGehee led all NL rookies in RBIs, ranked second in batting
average, third in home runs, fourth with a .367 on-base percentage and
fifth with 20 doubles. His .508 slugging percentage ranked second among
NL rookies to Pittsburgh’s Garrett Jones.

McGehee, a waiver
claim from the Cubs last October, played his way onto the Brewers’
Opening Day roster by hitting .339 in Spring Training and then saw
increased playing time after second baseman Rickie Weeks was lost to a
wrist injury and third  baseman Bill Hall slumped. At the moment, he’s
the leading candidate to be Milwaukee’s regular third baseman in 2010. 

“I want to make sure that I’m ready to go for Spring Training,” McGehee said.

DiFelice
has been on the DL since Sept. 15 with what he called “wear and tear”
in his right shoulder. He had major shoulder surgery
following the 2001 season and needed 2 1/2 years to feel well again, and is
seeking assurances from Yocum that nothing more serious is wrong this
time. 

“You owe it to yourself to get a second opinion, just
to explore every avenue,” said DiFelice, who posted a 3.66 ERA in 59
games before he was hurt. “The rehab is actually going well, but
[Yocum] might see something that we haven’t seen. You never know. He’s
one of the best in the country, so let’s be smart. 

“Right now, the plan is just to rehab. If he feels differently, then we’ll have to think about that.”

Burns’ injury was not known until Sunday, when he told a reporter that he had been feeling sore over the past week. The results of Monday’s MRI scan would determine whether he will join the Brewers on their season-ending road trip.
 

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