Extra Bases

Wakefield surgery ‘successful’

ANAHEIM, Calif. — While there’s not a lot of news on Tim Wakefield’s back surgery yet, a Red Sox spokesman said that the procedure was “successful” in an email.

The surgery, which was to address a herniated disk, occurred this morning at Massachusetts General Hospital. Wakefield can begin rehab immediately, according to the spokesperson.

The knuckleballer had a fragmented disk in his back that caused him to start just four times after making the first All-Star game of his career. He had significant pain in the back, compounded by weakness in his legs. He had multiple cortisone shots, which did allow him to pitch those four times, but he could barely cover his position in many of the starts.

Wakefield said at the end of the season that the surgery should not affect his return in spring training. Although he is at the end of another one-year deal, the Red Sox have recurring one-year options, and appeared interested in bringing him back. That would likely involve exercising the $4 million option.

“Wake is someone that is in our plans,” general manager Theo Epstein said after the Sox lost to the Angels in the ALDS. “We hope he makes starts for us next year as well and is a member of the rotation. We haven’t sat down and finalized anything. We obviously want to wait and see how the surgery goes and then both sides will sit down and talk.”

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