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Tampa Bay Rays Souza to Undergo Season-Ending Surgery

By Althea Pashman
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Following his examination of lingering hip discomfort, Tampa Bay Rays right-fielder Steven Souza Jr. will undergo season-ending surgery.

Despite playing through the injury for the majority of the season, Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Steven Souza Jr. knew that something just wasn’t right with his hip.

The lingering discomfort continued as did the pain, flare-ups became more regular and with two-weeks left in the season, now was the perfect time to take care of the problem.

After the Rays game against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, the Rays departed to Tampa with Souza heading out to Nashville, Tenn.

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Souza would see specialist Dr. Thomas Byrd on Monday to determine the severity of the hip and whether or not surgery would be necessary.

The lingering pain turned out to be an impingement to the left hip caused by some irregular bone growth.

The end result was that surgery would be necessary with Dr. Byrd performing the surgery in Nashville on Wednesday.

For those unfamiliar with a hip impingement it occurs when something prevents the smooth, painless, and free movement of the ball-and-socket joint, with a 3-4 month recovery time.

Although no official word has come from the Tampa Bay Rays as yet, Souza texted Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times after the exam with the results.

Dr. Byrd initially saw Souza in June following the initial injury which landed Souza on the 15-day DL. At this time, the course of action was rest.

As the season progressed, so did the discomfort.

After Monday’s examination, the best course of action will be surgery which will “clean out the joint” and to reduce “pinching in the labrum.”

Souza indicated that he’ll be on crutches four weeks but expects to be able to start running by early December and that he’ll be ready to go for spring training.

"“I really want to have a healthy 2017, have a full healthy year,” Souza said. “No excuses, go out and compete for 162 games.”"

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Souza has been playing through the injury since June, though it likely began during spring training when he tweaked his lower back/oblique during batting practice.

After a few days of rest, Souza returned to full activities, though under the watchful eyes of manager Kevin Cash and the trainers.

However, Souza re-aggravated the spring training injury against the Mariners in June diving for a ball.

The Rays hoped that a few days of rest would help, but that wasn’t the case.

The pain continued and was placed on the 15-day DL on June 16 where he would remain until July 2.

In spite of playing through the injury, Souza’s line for the season stands at .247/.303/.409 with 17-HR, 49 RBI, 17-2B, 1-3B, 159-SO (in 430 at-bats) and 58 runs scored in 120 games.

He set career highs in home runs, RBIs and strikeouts

Souza went out on fire hitting in 12 of his final 15 games for a .324 average (17-for-52) with 4 home runs, 6 RBIs, and 11 runs scored.

In his two seasons with the Rays, Souza hasn’t really provided the offensive production (although a slight increase from 2015) the team had envisioned, nor has he been healthy.

As for replacing Souza on the roster, the Rays have given no information so far whether they’ll call an outfielder up from the minors.

Currently, the Rays outfielders include Kevin Kiermaier, Mikie Mahtook, Jaff Decker and Corey Dickerson.

In regards to Miller getting some extended time in the outfield, that’s doubtful.

With Nick Franklin currently nursing a sore hamstring, it leaves Miller and newcomer Alexei Ramirez as the only shortstops.

Next: Tampa Bay Rays: Injuries Piling Up as Season Winds Down

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If a minor leaguer is to be added to the 25-man roster as a replacement, a player currently on the DL would need to be moved to the 60-day DL in a corresponding move.

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