Slowey's wrist surgery ends year

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins, locked in a tight division race, will be without Kevin Slowey the rest of the season.

Slowey (10-3) will have season-ending surgery to fix a bone chip in his right wrist. The operation requires two to four months of rehab and recovery, Slowey said before Monday's game against the Chicago White Sox.

Slowey said the bone chip was aggravated when he was hit by a line drive last September. He pitched with the injury until July 3, when he left a start after three innings. He went on the disabled list the next day.

"I think there's some peace of mind knowing that we're going to get something done, but at the same time you never really want to get surgery because you never really know how you're going to come out of it," Slowey said.

Slowey's injury is a huge hit to a rotation that's already struggling. During their 10-game road trip right after the All-Star break, the Twins got seven innings or more from their starting pitchers only twice while finishing 4-6 on the trip.

The Twins are two games behind Detroit and four behind Chicago in the AL Central. Meanwhile, Minnesota's starters are 12th in the league in earned-run average. Detroit is second and Chicago is third.

Slowey's 10 wins are still tied for seventh in the league, despite missing the last three weeks. But the pain in his wrist grew to the point where Slowey, team doctors and pitching coach Rick Anderson decided on surgery. The injury has made doing tasks around the house difficult, Slowey said.

"It's a young arm with a very good future, and we want to make sure we don't do anything silly here," Gardenhire said. "He was trying to pitch through this thing, and that always scares me."

Slowey will fly to Baltimore for the surgery, which will be done by Dr. Thomas Graham. The surgery will fix a bone chip that's aggravated the cartilage in Slowey's wrist.

Meanwhile, the Twins will look to pitchers like Francisco Liriano and Glen Perkins, who have both struggled, to fill the gap created by Slowey's absence.

"It's a tough break," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Our depth is not where we want it to be anyway, and there's a little more of it gone."