Betemit optimistic he can avoid surgery

SARASOTA, Fla. - Wilson Betemit hobbled into the Orioles' clubhouse this morning on crutches and wearing a large brace on his right knee. He also wore a look of extreme disappointment on his face, though his words were tinged with optimism.

Betemit said he will be reevaluated in six-to-eight weeks after suffering a Grade 2/3 tear in his right PCL during yesterday's game against the Boston Red Sox in Sarasota. He's been told that, for now, he will continue to receive treatment and rehab the injury rather than undergo surgery that could cost him the 2013 season.

Betemit said his knee isn't sore today, but he feels "heavy, like 300 pounds."

"They're not talking about surgery," he said. "They just told me to ice it and do some rehab and treatment and see what happens."

Betemit collapsed while running to second base on Manny Machado's fly ball in the bottom of the fifth inning and was carted off the field. He knew immediately that the injury was serious.

"It felt like my leg and bone, I broke everything, Betemit said. "After that, they took me for the MRI and told me the ligament in the back is connected to the bone, but everything has stretched too much. That's why I have to wear this, so they can connect them back."

Betemit's spikes may have caught in the dirt.

"I was just running and I knew something was going on," he said. "I don't know. I was just running.

"That was the first thing I was thinking. I was thinking I was going to need surgery. When they took me to the MRI yesterday, they told me everything was good in the back with the ACL.

"They told me six to eight weeks and hopefully I can come back."

Betemit will stay in Sarasota while receiving his treatment.

After a miserable start this spring, Betemit's bat had started to heat up. He homered yesterday and drove in six runs in his last two games.

"I know I wasn't having a good spring training, but I started to feel good the last couple of days," he said. "It's tough for me."

The frustration for Betemit is magnified because he devoted the winter to getting in shape and preparing for the upcoming season.

"I didn't play winter ball. Nothing," he said. "I worked out in the Dominican and I went to the Orioles' camp over there and practiced and everything. I spent the whole time working hard."

Betemit dealt with rib and wrist injuries last season while batting .261/.322/.422 with 12 homers in 102 games, and he wanted to have a clean, healthy slate this spring.

"I'm disappointed," he said. "I came in this year ready."

Betemit didn't have any issues with his right knee until yesterday. He sprained his left knee with the Detroit Tigers late in the 2011 season.

For the Twins:
Hicks CF
Dozier 2B
Willingham LF
Morneau DH
Doumit C
Sano 3B
Parmalee 1B
Ramirez RF
Florimon SS

Hendriks RHP

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