Morales to have surgery Thursday

OAKLAND -- Los Angeles Angels first baseman Kendry Morales is scheduled for surgery to repair his broken left ankle on Thursday, 12 days after he fractured it while celebrating a game-winning home run. Doctors were waiting for the swelling to subside.

Originally, he was to undergo the surgery -- in which a metal rod or screws are inserted to hold the fibula in place -- the day after he injured it on May 29.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia spoke with Morales by phone.

"We really reinforced the idea that he's got to listen to the doctors," Scioscia said. "Its going to take time. You can't rush it. Right now, I think he's anxious to get into the surgery and the rehab."

Morales led the team in home runs (11), RBIs (39) and batting average (.290). He finished fifth in MVP voting last November and was in the process of replicating, or improving on, most of his numbers.

Team orthopedist Lewis Yocum said once surgery is performed Morales could begin putting weight on his leg within 4-6 weeks. After that, he would need to strengthen the leg and get into baseball activities. The team is holding out hope that he could return in September.

Several Angels players and coaches have called Morales to offer him moral support.

"He was upset the way it happened. It's tough," Bobby Abreu said.

Angels left fielder Juan Rivera broke two bones in his lower leg playing winter ball in December of 2006 and still has a metal rod running the length of his lower leg with metal screws attaching it at both ends. He said he occasionally sets off metal detectors at airports.

"It takes a while before you get your strength back again," Rivera said.

Mark Saxon cover the Angels for ESPNLosAngeles.com.