Kevin Kouzmanoff appears to have accepted the fact that he’ll need to undergo back surgery to repair a herniated disk and be sidelined an estimated seven-to-12 weeks.
Kouzmanoff has dealt with back issues most of his career and exited last Tuesday’s game in Oakland with back tightness. At the time, he believed he would need a few days but a nerve block injection and other treatment hasn’t helped.
Kouzmanoff feels numbness and tingling down his right leg and Rangers back specialist Drew Dossett has recommended surgery. Kouzmanoff will get a second opinion Friday in the Los Angeles area by Dossett’s mentor, Dr. Robert Watkins.
“We’re just trying to do our homework and gather as much information as we can,” Kouzmanoff said. “I think the time has come. There was an adjustment period for a couple days. It was hard to swallow, but now it’s like we have to make a decision.”
Kouzmanoff, 32, has dealt with back issues most of his career after he fell down dugout stairs going after a foul popup in the 2004 Arizona Fall League. He has managed it ever since but has never experienced the tingling feeling until now.
Kouzmanoff admitted it came at a poor time, as he was back in the big leagues for the first time since 2011 and performing at a high level while Adrian Beltre was on the disabled list. Kouzmanoff had a .362 average with six doubles, two home runs and 10 RBIs in 13 games, garnering American League player of the week honors April 14-20.
“It’s bad timing,” Kouzmanoff said. “We were winning, I was having fun winning. I miss being in the lineup and missing the grind this week.
“The recovery process is six weeks, so it’s a seven-to-12 week process. The success rate is close to 100 percent and I plan to come back at 100 percent.”