Terry Francona said Kevin Youkilis will have season-ending surgery tomorrow on his right thumb tomorrow in Cleveland. Dr. Thomas Graham, who examined the first baseman today, will perform the surgery.
Youkilis will be immobilized for six weeks before being evaluated. He is expected to be ready well before the start of spring training.
“I think Youkilis was pretty resolved to the fact this was probably what was going to happen,” Francona said. “It was pretty consistent what [the doctors] were telling him. He had an idea of what was going to happen.”
Francona said Youkilis should have a full recovery from the torn abductor muscle he has.
“That’s why we’re doing it now,” Francona said. “If he had to play and did something to further injured that, then you running the risk that [the thumb] doesn’t come back the way you want it to. We don’t need that.
“We had talked the last couple of days. I would have a tougher time sending him out there knowing he might really hurt himself.”
With Youkilis out, Mike Lowell will be used the most at first base. Francona said he expects Lowell to play at the position in at least four of the next five games.
“As tough as it is to lose Youkilis, I think we’re pretty fortunate,” Francona said. “I don’t know how many teams can take a Youkilis out and put a Lowell in. I guess that’s how I prefer to look at it. I don’t know any other way.”
The Red Sox are on the market for a left-handed hitting first baseman they could platoon with Lowell. One possibility is Casey Kotchman.