David Dellucci, the promising young outfielder for the Arizona Diamondbacks, will undergo surgery on his left wrist this week to repair a rare, serious condition that threatens his career.
Even with the operation to shorten the radius bone in his forearm, tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, there is no certainty that Dellucci will be able to play professional baseball again.
"This is a very serious condition. This is not a minor problem," said Dr. Don Sheridan, an orthopedic wrist and hand surgeon who will perform the operation. "It's also one that is not easily fixable or 100% fixable. I think David has got about a 70% chance of having a good result."
His condition is a form of vascular necrosis similar to the hip disorder that ended Bo Jackson's football career and a condition that may be the cause of NFL running back Garrison Hearst's ankle ailment.
Dellucci, who was batting .394 in limited duty, had worked his way into the starting lineup in recent weeks. He was 16 for 32 in his last nine games.
First baseman Erubiel Durazo, who hit .408 with triple-A Tucson and .403 with double-A El Paso this season, was called up to replace Dellucci.