Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder is "seriously considering" surgery to repair the herniated disk in his neck, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The procedure would be season-ending.
"I think he's disappointed that he can't be here not only for this series but for his team," manager Ron Washington said before Thursday's game against the Tigers, Fielder's former team. "It's a situation where there wasn't anything he could do about it. If he could, he would be here."
Fielder, 30, received a nerve-root injection last weekend, but Wilson writes that does not remove the chunk of disk that is pinching a nerve and causing weakness in Fielder's left arm. Only surgery can fix that. He could either play through the weakness or have the surgery. No final decision has been made.
Acquired from Detroit over the winter, Fielder has hit .247/.360/.360 (100 OPS+) with three home runs in 42 games this season. Obviously the weakness in his arm could be contributing to his relatively slow start. Fielder hit .279/.362/.457 (121 OPS+) with 25 homers in 2013, his worst season since his rookie year.
The Rangers owe Fielder approximately $130 million through 2020. Although the team is built to win now, they need to do what is best for him long-term given that investment.