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Lewis ponders future as surgery looms

Lewis ponders future as surgery looms

TORONTO -- Sitting at his locker inside the Blue Jays' clubhouse at Rogers Centre on Friday, preparing to leave for season-ending surgery on his left foot, outfielder Fred Lewis was not sure where he fell within Toronto's plans for next year.

"I'm a whole lot unsure," Lewis said. "I know that I'm an everyday position player and I don't know what the future holds. I just have to sit back and wait."

On Tuesday, Lewis will be in Birmingham, Ala., where Dr. Angus McBryde will perform bunion surgery on the left fielder's ailing foot. Lewis could still play through the issue, but his sporadic playing time of late convinced him it was as good a time as any to undergo an operation that was in his offseason plans.

Over the past two months, Lewis shifted from an everyday spot in the Blue Jays' lineup to a part-time role off the bench, splitting the playing time in left with Travis Snider. Lewis is not sure that is the type of situation he wants to be in come 2011, though he knows Toronto ultimately will decide his immediate future.

"I know the type of player that I am. I just want to play every day," said Lewis, who is eligible for arbitration this winter. "They can decide to pick up my contract or they can non-tender me. Who knows what they decide? Hopefully I'm back. If I'm not, it's a business."

Lewis, who was under contract for $455,000 this season, said the surgery on his foot will consist of shaving down the bone in his big toe and then having a stabilizing screw inserted. It is a similar operation to the one Lewis had performed on his right big toe in September 2007.

Lewis noted that bunion problems run in his family, adding that the hope is that the surgery should alleviate any future issues. In a best-case scenario, Lewis said the recovery time for the procedure is six weeks, though the outfielder does not think he will begin running again until Spring Training.

The Jays acquired the 29-year-old Lewis from the Giants in a trade on April 15 and made it known from the start the outfielder would be a reserve player. That quickly changed with injuries and Lewis became a regular part of Toronto's lineup only a few days after being fitted for his new uniform.

Between April and July, Lewis performed well -- primarily out of the leadoff spot -- hitting .280 with seven home runs, 27 doubles and 30 RBIs over 84 games. In August and September, Lewis appeared in only 26 games and his production decreased dramatically. Over that span, he hit .202 with one homer, four doubles and six RBIs.

"It's tough to get in a rhythm like that," Lewis said of how he was used over the final two months. "Say for instance you have two good games and then that day off, it messes you up. It was kind of tough getting in a rhythm that way, but it's baseball. You have to stay up and be ready all the time."

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