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Bautista gets 411 on surgery from Rays' Fuld

Bautista gets 411 on surgery from Rays' Fuld

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Bautista gets 411 on surgery from Rays' Fuld
TORONTO -- Thursday marks Jose Bautista's last day with the Blue Jays before he travels to Cleveland to meet Dr. Thomas Graham, who will perform season-ending surgery on his left wrist on Tuesday.

Bautista, who is expected to be ready for Spring Training, sustained a similar injury to that of Rays outfielder Sam Fuld, who was also operated on by Graham, and the two spoke at length after Bautista's latest setback.

Fuld sustained his injury last September and elected for offseason rehab before going under the knife right before the start of the 2012 season after reinjuring himself in a Spring Training game.

"[Bautista] was just curious about the whole procedure and how I felt coming off the surgery, and I just told him, really, it's been great," Fuld said. "Other than occasional soreness, I really don't even think about my wrist when I'm out there.

"I couldn't have asked for any better results from the surgery -- knock on wood -- and that's what I told him. I think he's worried about, sort of, the stability. At the time before he had made up his mind to do the surgery, he was worried about the stability of the tendon in there, and I said after the surgery it's felt as stable as my good one."

Fuld, who didn't play his first game of the season until July 24, said that the initial time frame for his recovery was four months, but he healed quicker than expected. He said he has regained his full strength and that the slow part during the rehab process was getting his flexibility and range of motion back to where it was.

"I think the main thing is that we all heard great things about Dr. Graham in Cleveland and that he's the hand-wrist guru and his success rate, I think, is off the charts," Fuld said.

Fuld, who sports a visible scar, is confident that he'll never have an issue with the wrist again. He was expecting to experience setbacks along the way, but everything has gone according to plan, for the most part.

He started handling a bat eight weeks after the surgery, and one of the first exercises he did was swinging underwater.

"That just kind of reduces the resistance, and [gives you] the feel of the bat in your hands," he said.

He started taking dry swings by week nine or 10, and by week 11 or 12 was taking part in batting practice.

Fuld said that the operation is a little different from what it used to be, as the sheath -- what both he and Bautista injured -- that holds the tendon in place is now anchored to the bone, which is also shaved down.

"The tendon sits in a little groove," Fuld said. "[Dr. Graham] actually flattened that groove out. Then he anchored the sheath down on it."

In the past, surgeons tried to deepen the groove.

"He's had nothing but great results from that." Fuld said.

Bautista sustained the injury during a swing in New York on July 16. He came back last weekend, but the discomfort resurfaced.

The three-time All-Star finishes his campaign with a .241 average, 27 homers, 65 RBIs and an .886 OPS in 92 games.

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