Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager likely out until June after hand surgery

March 14 (UPI) — Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager will miss at least the next 2 1/2 months after surgery to repair a tendon in his left hand.

Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto told Thursday that the surgery, performed Tuesday in Phoenix by Dr. Donald Sheridan will have a recovery period of between 8 to 10 weeks.

“He won’t be able to pick up a bat until the eighth week,” Dipoto said before getting on the Mariners’ charter plane to Tokyo for next week’s opening series.

“It’s hard to believe we’ll shut him down for two-plus months and he’ll be able to hit MLB pitching in two weeks. So I suspect we’re probably looking more toward 10 to 12 weeks.”

Seager’s left hand was injured while diving for a ball during Friday night’s spring training loss to the Chicago Cubs.

The 31-year-old last season had the toughest offensive year of his career, hitting .221 with 22 homers and 78 RBI for the Mariners, who finished the season 89-73, good for third in the American League West.

Seager has been a mainstay for the Mariners, entering his ninth season for Seattle, and he’s been their starting third basemen for the past seven and one-half seasons.

With Seager out, the team will likely turn to first baseman Ryon Healy to fill the gap at third base. Rookie Dylan Moore also could see increased playing time at third.

Seager will stay n Arizona to rehab his injury. He has never been on the injured list in his career, and has played more games at third since 2012 than any player in the Majors.

“That’s something that I was proud of, and it sucks,” Seager said.

“Anytime you don’t get to go out there with your teammates and your guys and all that stuff, it’s hard.”

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