Geovany Soto has foot surgery

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Texas Rangers catcher Geovany Soto underwent surgery Saturday morning after it was determined that a small bone (os trigonum) in his left foot was pushing against his flexor tendon, creating some pain. But the club still expects Soto to be ready for Opening Day.

The arthroscopic procedure, recommended after consultation with specialist Dr. John Crates in Plano, Texas, should alleviate the pain and allow Soto to resume baseball activities fairly quickly. The club is putting a timeline of three weeks for Soto to be ready to go, meaning he could be back and playing in games with about two weeks left in the Cactus League schedule.

The surgery could alter how the Rangers deploy their catchers a bit, creating more playing time for backup J.P. Arencibia, especially early in the season.

Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine said Soto could have opted to try to make it through the season with a series of injections, but since the timetable meant that he could still be back for the start of the season, the decision was made to have surgery.

"Once his sutures heal, which is in approximately 10 days, he should be able to return to almost all baseball activity and then the hope is at about the three-week mark he'd be effectively game ready," Levine said. "But we'll evaluate that."

Soto is expected to return to camp Monday. It's one more injury in a first week filled with a variety of setbacks.

Matt Harrison is flying back to Dallas on Sunday to have his tight back checked on, though he said on Saturday that he feels better. Neftali Feliz (shoulder tightness) and Tanner Scheppers (back) have been slowed a bit in camp as well.

"Hopefully, we're getting a lot of this out of the way early," Levine said. "Fortunately, we still have a meaningful time horizon until Opening Day. So if you're going to sustain any injuries that you hope are short-term in nature, you'd rather have them hit early than middle or late. I think we filled our quota.

"This is an unfortunate rash of injuries we've sustained early in camp certainly to players who we see playing prominent roles. But I think as an organization we've always looked forward rather than looking backwards. With every injury is a new opportunity for somebody to step up. We think we've got the depth to fill those holes if they still exist on Opening Day and hopefully they won't."