Jason Hammel talks about his decision to have surgery

Orioles pitcher Jason Hammel told reporters a few minutes ago that he has decided he will have surgery on his right knee. The arthroscopic procedure will take place at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore on Monday.

"Obviously, it's not what I want to do, but it's what needs to be done," Hammel said. "I can't keep pitching on a bad leg and start doing things with my arm and hurting stuff there. I'm bummed out, but it will be a pretty routine surgery. I figure a few weeks, maybe four weeks hopefully for the return, which gets me back in time to help the club.

"They'll go in and pull out the cartilage that is floating around and see if there is anything else in there that we haven't caught. They told me three to four (weeks to be back) right now. It could be later than that, it could be earlier than that if I'm a superhero.

"It's a decision that had to be made. I want to help the club, but it's another opportunity for someone else to come help out and I'll get back to doing my thing when I get healthy."

Hammel is 8-6 with a 3.54 ERA over 18 starts and 109 1/3 innings. He left Friday's start after throwing a 1-2 pitch to Brennan Boesch in the top of the fourth inning. Hammel said he could have put off surgery and tried to rest and rehab the injury.

"It's not easy because it's something I could rest for a week and it might go back to where it was, but you run the risk of something happening each time I go out there," Hammel said. "With as quick a surgery as it is, hope I can come back and help the team and not be out for the season."

With that knee bothering him at times during each start, he had planned on having a procedure done at the end of the year anyway and now that will just happen sooner.

"Yeah, that was pretty much decided after the initial injury. I was going to try and pitch through it and the reason why I was pitching through it was it didn't hurt at the time. But two days ago it hurt a lot and it still does. So, get this done," Hammel said.

He could head to Sarasota not long after Monday's surgery to begin the rehab process that he hopes can get him back to the Orioles rotation as soon as possible.

"Might be a week after (where I go to Florida). It just all depends on the swelling and other things," Hammel said.

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