M’s GM Zduriencik: Surgeon did “a little bit more” on Aardsma’s hip than expected

I spoke with Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik this evening, and he said the operation Monday to repair a torn labrum in closer David Aardsma’s left hip was more involved than expected.

“They went in and had to do a little bit more,” Zduriencik said. “They&#8217

;re pleased with how it went, but it’s possible he may be delayed by a couple of weeks.”

While the Mariners aren’t willing to say Aardsma won’t be ready for the season opener April 1 at Oakland, it may take a flawless rehab for that to happen. The original estimate was for Aardsma to start throwing four weeks after surgery.

“We feel pretty certain he’ll be ready right at or near the beginning of the season,” Zduriencik said. “We always have to keep our fingers crossed that there’s not a setback.”

Aardsma missed the last two weeks of the season with an injury that was believed to be a strained oblique. He rehabbed this offseason but continued to feel discomfort and went to a doctor near his home in Arizona to have it checked out. That doctor suspected a problem with the hip and Aardsma immediately contacted the Mariners, who had him see Dr. Marc Phillipon, a specialist who has repaired torn hip labrums in several players, including Alex Rodriguez and former Mariners catcher Rob Johnson. Phillipon determined that Aardsma needed surgery, and the procedure was performed Monday in Vail, Colo.

If Aardsma can’t make it back by opening day, right-hander Brandon League would seem the logical replacement because he has more closing experience than any of the Mariners’ other relievers.

“I’m not willing to predict that,” Zduriencik said. “We’ll see how things play out in spring training. If David is not ready by opening day, we’ll let it play out.”

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