MIAMI -- The good news that came from the MRI that Padres outfielder Alex Dickerson had on his badly sprained ankle last month was that there was no ligament damage.
The bad news was a cyst was discovered on the left calcaneus (heel) bone that, if left untreated, might have eventually put Dickerson's career at risk if he suffered an injury to that particular area.
"They said the cyst caused some concerns for my career," Dickerson said. "When they first told me, I wanted to keep playing. But after talking with friends, family, coaches I decided to do it. They left [the decision] up to me. I didn't want to have something happen [injury to heel] down the road."
Dickerson said he's never once felt anything in his heel, which makes this injury a little more maddening for him.
"For a while, this was tough to grasp," he said. "But I'm at peace with it now."
The surgery was performed in San Diego on Thursday.
"This is something that we felt, that in the long-term was necessary for his career," said Padres assistant general manager A.J. Hinch.
Dickerson suffered a severely sprained left ankle late in Spring Training after a misstep while the Padres did morning exercises and warmup drills. He was going to begin the season on the disabled list and then likely join Triple-A El Paso once healthy.
Hinch said the heel surgery actually had nothing to do with the ankle sprain.
Hinch indicated that there was a small chance that Dickerson could recover in time to play late in the season, though the timeline might be tight given that the Minor League season typically ends the first week of September.
Dickerson will spend the first month on crutches but could be fitted with a walking boot after. He has been told by doctors that it might be four to five months before he can begin working out again. He'd like to get back sooner.
"I've always been a fast healer," he said. "I'm optimistic I can catch the tail end of the season."
Dickerson, in his first spring with the Padres, hit .280 with two home runs and seven RBIs in 25 at-bats during Cactus League play.
"I think everyone agrees this was a good for his long-term peace of mind," Black said.