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February 16, 2011

Rangers lose RHP Omar Beltre to spinal problem

Rangers right-hander Omar Beltre, who was expected to compete for a spot in the rotation, will have spinal surgery Tuesday for spinal stenosis, a genetic disorder that results in narrowing of the spine.

A return date for Beltre is not known because of the rarity of the injury in baseball players.

"The rehab is about six to eight weeks before he'll recommence baseball activities," assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "This is going to be a little bit of a work in progress. We have not historically found a baseball player has had this surgery, so we don't know what the recovery timeframe is."

Beltre will be in Surprise for the rehab, but there are no guarantees he'll pitch again.

"It's unknown at this point," Levine said. "It's a condition more known in older people. This is something that is unchartered waters for professional athletes."

Beltre was bothered by some numbness in his feet last year, and it continued into the offseason.

- Anthony Andro

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