New Dodger shortstop expected to recover quickly

LOS ANGELES -- Shortstop Rafael Furcal, who signed a $39
million, three-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers last
month, will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said Monday the procedure
on Furcal's meniscus cartilage will be minor. Furcal is expected to
recover fully in two to three weeks and should be ready when spring
training opens, Colletti said.

The surgery is scheduled for Wednesday in Los Angeles.

Colletti said the Dodgers were aware of the problem when they
signed Furcal on Dec. 7 at baseball's winter meetings.

"It hindered him last season a bit and he had it drained a few
times. But it gave us no concern," Colletti said during a
conference call. "We knew there was a possibility he would need a
little cleanup on it at some point in time."

Colletti said Furcal probably could have made it through
the upcoming season without having surgery, but the Dodgers decided
it was better to have it done now.

The switch-hitting Furcal, the 2000 NL Rookie of the Year, hit
.284 for Atlanta last season with 12 homers, 58 RBI, 100 runs and
46 steals in 56 attempts.

His steals total was third-highest in the NL -- and only 12 fewer
than the Dodgers had as a team.

The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Furcal is a .284 career hitter with a
.348 on-base percentage. He scored 130 runs in 2003, when he made
the NL All-Star team.

The Dodgers' Cesar Izturis, an All-Star shortstop last season
and Gold Glove winner in 2004, is coming off reconstructive surgery
on his throwing elbow and isn't expected to play until at least July.

Los Angeles All-Star second baseman Jeff Kent is scheduled for
surgery on his right wrist Tuesday to remove scar tissue. He's
expected to be recovered by early in spring training.