Red Sox OF Mookie Betts undergoes right knee surgery

BOSTON -- Mookie Betts will have to wait until Thursday to find out if he will be crowned Most Valuable Player in the American League. But the Boston Red Sox right fielder couldn't put off knee surgery any longer.

Betts hoped his balky right knee would heal with rest. When his symptoms persisted, he elected arthroscopic surgery, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told ESPN on Friday.

The procedure, which involves the removal of a loose body from Betts' knee, was performed Thursday at Massachusetts General Hospital by team orthopedist Dr. Peter Asnis. Betts is expected to be ready for spring training and possibly even the World Baseball Classic if he chooses to participate, the team said.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said Betts dropped by Fenway Park on Friday and was "moving around well." Farrell labeled the surgery "very minor."

Betts had played through soreness in his knee since July. The injury did not force the 24-year-old to miss much time, and it did not impact his performance. He batted .318 with 31 home runs, 113 RBIs and 26 stolen bases in 158 games.

Dombrowski said Betts didn't experience new or changing symptoms, "just a continuance" of what he dealt with after the All-Star break. Asked why Betts didn't act as proactively as second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who had knee surgery within a few days of the Red Sox getting swept out of the Division Series by the Cleveland Indians, Dombrowski said Betts and the team thought the injury might respond to rest.

"Wanted to see how he felt," Dombrowski. "It continued to bother him a little, so, he decided to have it."

Betts is among the most dynamic players in the league. He won Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards this week and is one of three MVP finalists, joining Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve.