Sports hernia forces Rangers' Kinsler to DL, could end his season

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday with a sports hernia, and could be headed for season-ending surgery.

Kinsler, who was leading the majors with 165 hits and 102 runs, had an MRI on Monday that revealed the problem on the left side of his groin. He will be examined by a specialist in Dallas, probably on Tuesday.

"I hope I can avoid surgery, but the way it is right now, it's pretty bad, pretty sore, and I can't play," Kinsler said before Monday night's game against the Detroit Tigers. "If it's surgery, then I'm out eight weeks and I'm done for the season. But until the doctor tells me, I'm going to hope for the best."

Texas called up infielder Joaquin Arias from Triple-A Oklahoma to take Kinsler's roster spot.

Kinsler said he first felt pain in his groin after making a defensive play in the first inning of Sunday night's game against the Tampa Bay Rays. He remained in the game until the pain intensified while running out a grounder in the seventh and was replaced at the start of the eighth inning.

Kinsler, whose .319 average and 26 stolen bases also lead the Rangers, has been among the AL leaders in batting average and steals all season. He also has 41 doubles, two short of the club record set by Alfonso Soriano in 2005.

Despite his breakthrough year, Kinsler has been overshadowed by teammate and fellow All-Star Josh Hamilton, the major league leader in RBIs who's having an MVP-caliber season.

"I wanted to steal that MVP from Hamilton," Kinsler said with a smile. "There are a lot of things I want to accomplish. You prepare to play a full season and when it's cut short, that's disappointing."

Rangers manager Ron Washington said if Kinsler is done for the season, he'll go with a platoon of Ramon Vazquez and Arias at second base. Vazquez replaced Kinsler on Monday night.

Vazquez has made 58 starts at third for Texas this season, but the Rangers already planned on moving rookie first baseman Chris Davis to third this weekend. Travis Metcalf also is available to play third for Texas.

Arias was batting .296 with seven homers, 49 RBIs and 23 stolen bases in 104 games for Oklahoma. He was acquired from the New York Yankees in 2004 as part of the Alex Rodriguez trade.

Former All-Star 3B Hank Blalock is on a minor league rehab assignment this week as he tries to come back from right shoulder soreness. The Rangers anticipate getting Blalock back this weekend, and will use him at first base.