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Willingham elects to have surgery on knee

Willingham elects to have surgery on knee

Willingham elects to have surgery on knee

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins on Tuesday placed Josh Willingham on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Monday, with a medial meniscus tear and bone bruise in his left knee. Center fielder Aaron Hicks was activated from the 15-day DL to take Willingham's place on the roster.

After consulting with team physician John Steubs during Tuesday's game, a 7-3 loss to the Yankees, Willingham elected to have arthroscopic surgery on the knee to fix the torn meniscus, which will keep him out of action for four to six weeks. He's scheduled to have the operation on Wednesday; Steubs will perform the procedure.

"We both put our heads together and decided what was best," said Willingham, who has had both of his knees scoped in the past. "We knew that we had to have my knee cleaned up at some point, probably at the end of the year. So it made sense with the [two to four weeks it takes] the bone bruise to heal. So we made the decision that way."

Willingham, who has been dealing with soreness in the knee throughout the season, tweaked it on Friday. He was held out of the lineup on Saturday and Sunday but did deliver an RBI ground-rule double as a pinch-hitter on Sunday.

Willingham had been in the lineup for Monday's game against the Yankees but was a late scratch after feeling discomfort in the knee while trying to run before the game.

Willingham, 34, is hitting .224/.356/.398 with 10 homers and 37 RBIs in 70 games. He underwent an MRI on Tuesday morning that showed the meniscus tear and bone bruise.

"I know [the procedure is] going to fix the problem that's been causing me trouble," he said. "So hopefully this clears up and I can play without any pain in my knee."

Hicks, meanwhile, went on the 15-day DL with a strained left hamstring on June 10. He hit .190 with a double and two RBIs in six games as part of his rehab assignment at Triple-A Rochester.

"It's just one of those things where you can't wait to be back on the field," Hicks said. "It was good to go down there and play a few games to get ready to go. So I'm ready."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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