Blanks set for season-ending surgery

Blanks set for season-ending surgery

SAN DIEGO -- A week after he landed on the disabled list with a strained left shoulder, Padres outfielder Kyle Blanks is headed toward season-ending surgery to repair a significant tear in the labrum of that shoulder.

This is the second season-ending surgery Blanks has dealt with in the last three seasons. In May 2010, Blanks had reconstructive surgery on his right elbow and missed the final four months of the season.

"It's not the end of the world, but at the end of the day I'm not going to say it doesn't [stink]," Blanks said. "But there are other guys in this clubhouse who have gone through the same thing. It's a little step back. It's another hurdle."

Blanks first felt soreness in his left shoulder in Spring Training and missed 11 games in Arizona because of it. He felt like he recovered and made the Opening Day roster. He had one hit in five at-bats before feeling the same pain in the shoulder during batting practice on April 13 at Dodger Stadium.

He went on the disabled list the following day.

"When I'm trying to apply things in my head to a physical task, I can't do it," Blanks said. "... I can't do what I want to do. It's not the pain or the soreness, it's just not being able to apply the things I'm thinking about to my swing properly."

Blanks has been told there's a four-to-six-month recovery process, though he won't rush his recovery and instead get ready for a return in 2013.

"We talked about it [on Saturday], and through everything we gathered and sort of had on the table, it made sense to get it fixed," Blanks said.

Blanks is a career .219 hitter in 425 at-bats with the Padres and has 20 home runs. He first arrived in the big leagues with the team in June 2009. He missed the final month of the season after sustaining a tear of the plantar fascia in his right foot.

He was the Padres' Opening Day left fielder in 2010, but hit .157 in 102 at-bats before suffering an elbow injury that led to surgery. Blanks returned in 2011 and opened the season in the Minor Leagues before being recalled on July 22, and he proceeded to hit .229 with seven home runs in 170 at-bats.

Now, 2012 is over for the 25-year-old.