Left fielder Todd Hollandsworth’s shoulder surgery went as expected Thursday, but team physician Frank Jobe said chances are “not very good” Hollandsworth will return this season.
“It usually takes about four months to heal and get the strength back and be ready to play baseball again,” said Jobe, who was assisted by Dr. Ralph Gambardella in the 1 1/2-hour arthroscopic procedure to repair torn cartilage in Hollandsworth’s left shoulder at Centinela Hospital Medical Center.
“I kind of doubt whether he can play this year,” Jobe said. “We’ll see how it goes as the time passes.”
Though Jobe will caution Hollandsworth against trying to return too quickly, which could force the repair to be redone, he expects a full recovery. Dodger reliever Jim Bruske had the same surgery about 2 1/2 years ago and has had no further problems.
Hollandsworth, who was batting .269 with three home runs and 20 runs batted in, injured his shoulder last month in Chicago on a headfirst dive back to first.
The injury is known as a “slap lesion"--which means he had a tear in the labrum, a rim of cartilage in the shoulder. Jobe repaired it with a biodegradable tack, which will be absorbed by the body in four to six weeks.
Though Hollandsworth is beginning rehabilitation right away, his initial therapy will avoid stress to the biceps tendon, which attaches to the labrum.
“It needs some time to heal,” Jobe said. “It may be better in the long run to take the time, although that kind of goes against Todd’s personality.”
The end of San Francisco’s 11-game winning streak finally allowed the Dodgers to pick up a game on the Giants with Wednesday’s victory over Oakland, closing to 7 1/2 games behind San Francisco and San Diego.
“We can’t really worry about them. We’ve got to get a good streak going ourselves,” Manager Bill Russell said. "[The players] know what they have to do. We’ve had enough meetings. We have to go out and play.”
The Dodgers will face the Padres for the first time next week in San Diego, and will play the Giants for the first time July 3-5 in San Francisco.
“We haven’t played head to head yet,” Russell said. “We’ve got to get a good streak going before we go down there. . . . We knew our division was tough coming in. We’re going to catch them. This time last year we were a .500 team and we caught them.”
* Opponent--Colorado Rockies, three games.
* Site--Dodger Stadium.
* TV--Channel 5 tonight, Channel 11 Saturday, Fox Sports West 2 Sunday.
* Radio--AM 1150, KWKW (1330).
* Records--Dodgers 33-32, Rockies 27-39.
* Record vs. Rockies--1-1.
DODGERS’ DAVE MLICKI
(1-4, 6.15 ERA)
ROCKIES’ DARRYL KILE
(5-8, 4.42 ERA)
* Update--Mlicki is getting another start despite lasting only three innings in his Dodger debut. Russell says Mlicki simply needs to reestablish a routine after being used sporadically with the New York Mets. The Rockies, who are 14 games behind the Giants and Padres, broke a five-game losing streak Wednesday with a victory over Texas in which Dante Bichette became the first Colorado player to hit for the cycle.
* Saturday, 1 p.m.--Darren Dreifort (4-5, 3.56 ERA) vs. Jamey Wright (4-6, 5.88).
* Sunday, 1 p.m.--Ramon Martinez (7-3, 2.88) vs. Pedro Astacio (4-8, 6.86).