According to reports from Blue Jays beat writers Saturday afternoon, general manager Alex Anthopoulos announced that outfielder Melky Cabrera had a benign tumour removed from his lower back near the spine. Throughout the season, Cabrera had problems running and was placed on the disabled list twice for a problem with his left knee. Cabrera's doctor believes that the pressure of the tumour may have been the ultimate cause for his leg problems this season.
The benign tumor helps explain why Cabrera had so many leg issues this season. It put a lot of pressure on the spine. #BlueJays— Gregor Chisholm (@gregorMLB) September 7, 2013
Cabrera is expected to make a full recovery relatively soon and should be good to go for Spring Training. #BlueJays— Gregor Chisholm (@gregorMLB) September 7, 2013
Cabrera last played on August 1 when he was pulled in the fourth inning with knee irritation, and two weeks ago it was announced that he was done for the season. The club expects that he will make a full recovery and be ready for spring training 2014.
Cabrera is only 29 and is under contract for 2014 at $8 million. He had a down year this year after recording career highs in 2012 before being suspended for use of performance-enhancing drugs. In 88 games with the Blue Jays, he hit .279/.322/.360 with three homers and 15 doubles.
The tumour was removed from the L1 bone in his lumbar vertebrae, which is the top bone in the lowest section of the spine.
The good news from this is that the tumour was tested to be benign, meaning the growth will not spread to other parts of his body. Of course, any problems at or close to the spinal cord has added complications. The hope is that the doctors are right and that Cabrera will not only recover from his surgery but the pressure relief would make him run like a 29-year old again.
According to Brendan Kennedy's story in the Toronto Star, Melky Cabrera had been suffering from back pain all season but did not inform the club's medical staff until his latest trip to the disabled list.