Trainer: Surgery ultimately up to Garciaparra

ST. LOUIS -- Chicago Cubs shortstop Nomar Garciaparra will be sidelined at least two to three months because of a torn left groin.

Garciaparra was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday, one day after he got hurt while leaving the batter's box during a game against St. Louis. Cubs trainer Mark O'Neal said the muscle pulled away from the bone.

The Cubs, doctors and Garciaparra will decide in the next 10 days whether an operation is needed.

"The surgery is really going to be determined by is it
something that Nomar wants to do," O'Neal said. "We're trying to
make a determination of what would be the most predictable

If Garciaparra opts for surgery, O'Neal said the procedure should be done fairly soon so the muscle heals properly.

The Cubs, who lost 4-0 to the Cardinals on Thursday without either of their opening-day middle infielders, recalled Ronny Cedeno from Triple-A Iowa. Cedeno was batting .348 with three home runs and six RBI in 13 games in the minors.

"It's a setback," manager Dusty Baker said. "We don't know yet what is going to happen. We'll have to wait and see."

The Cubs acquired the star player at the trade deadline in July. He signed to a one-year, $8.25 million free agent deal in the offseason. He was carried off the field after grounding into a double play and collapsing just in front of the batter's box in the third inning. Garciaparra is hitting just .157 with four RBI.

Cubs second baseman Todd Walker also is out, perhaps until June, with a knee injury sustained April 10. For now, Chicago will have to make do with backups Neifi Perez at shortstop and Jerry Hairston Jr. at second base.

"It's always a loss to lose a player like that," outfielder Todd Hollandsworth said. "Absolutely, it hurts. We'll have to carry on and hope he gets back as soon as he can."

Wednesday's game was delayed 1 hour, 22 minutes at the start by rain, but Garciaparra said after the game that it had nothing to do with his injury.

"I'm not going to blame the rain," he said. "The field was in great condition, the grounds crew did a great job, and the field was definitely playable and all of that stuff. I just slipped."

The injury is the latest in a series of setbacks for Garciaparra since he won AL batting titles in 1999 and 2000 with the Boston Red Sox. He was limited to 83 at-bats in 2001 after wrist surgery and he missed more than two months last year with Achilles tendinitis.