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What's up with Beltran's knee?

We've all heard a lot about Carlos Beltran's knee problems. Here's a June story from the New York Times that explains Beltran's injury and recovery:



After sustaining a bone bruise on June 21, 2009, Beltran missed nearly three months. When the knee did not heal properly in the off-season, he flew to New York for an exam and was given grim news.

“It wasn’t like I wanted to have the operation,” Beltran said. “But when I met with the doctor in New York, the team doctor, he told me there was nothing he could do for me. The team doctor is saying there is nothing he can do for you. I was thinking: ‘Well, that’s the end of my career? I’m not going to play baseball anymore?’

“No, no. Come on, man. For a bone bruise? I’m not going to be able to play this game anymore? I wasn’t going to give up. I felt that I needed to search for the best doctor in the world, and (former agent) Scott (Boras) was able to find the doctors, and thank God I feel good.”

Boras, sent him to Dr. Richard Steadman, who gave Beltran two options: microfracture surgery or an arthroscopic procedure to clean out loose bodies in the knee, then allow ample time for the knee to heal.

“I wasn’t going to do microfracture because microfracture is 12 months of rehab, and you don’t know what you are going to get,” Beltran said. “I wanted to get scoped and be safe. If the scope doesn’t work, then we move on to the next one.”

Over the objections of the Mets, who felt the proper medical protocol was not followed, Beltran had the arthroscopic procedure. It was similar to the one that Dr. Scott Rodeo performed on Hideki Matsui’s arthritic knees before the 2009 season, and Matsui was running around the Citi Field outfield last week like a Gold Glover.

Beltran did not return until after the All-Star break last year. For the first six weeks, he struggled, in the field and at the plate. But in September, he hit .321 and had five of his seven home runs, signaling new hope.

Last off-season, Beltran continued to rehabilitate his knee, but he was careful. He did not do any real running until he arrived in spring training, then came down with tendinitis in the left knee, most likely from overcompensating for the right. He missed virtually all of spring training, but once the season started, he was not only ready to play, but ready to play more than anyone on the team.

Now that he has proved his durability, Beltran, like Jose Reyes, has perfectly timed his comeback season in the final year of his contract. And playing as well as he is, he may draw interest from other teams and be traded in the next few weeks. Beltran says it all depends on how the Mets fare in the next few weeks.

Regardless of whether Beltran finishes the season at Citi Field, he appears to have erased any doubts about his decision to have surgery nearly 18 months ago.

“Nobody saw the work I did in the off-season,” he said. “Right now, I feel great, so I guess it was the right thing to do.”

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