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05/29/08 12:25 AM ET

Hip surgery performed on Abreu

Utility man out at least three months, hopeful injuries behind him

CHICAGO -- Rookie utility man Tony Abreu underwent hip surgery Wednesday at the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colo., and doctors are hopeful it will finally resolve his eight-month injury ordeal. He is expected to be sidelined three months.

Abreu, 23, missed half of last season and ultimately underwent surgery last October to repair a sports hernia, but early in Spring Training developed discomfort in the groin area, and specialists have been unable to pinpoint the cause. He has been disabled all this season.

Dr. Marc Philippon, a pioneer in hip surgery, reviewed MRI results and suspected Abreu's problem is the result of torn labrum inside the hip joint, which tends to refer pain to other locations, like the groin area.

Abreu will be on crutches during a two-week therapy program in Vail, after which doctors will determine the next step and location of his recovery. It will be at least six weeks before he can resume limited baseball activities.

The loss of Abreu has proved to be costly to the Dodgers, who were expecting him to be a versatile utility man that can play second base, third base and shortstop. It was hoped he would be able to spell 40-year-old second baseman Jeff Kent, as well as be the primary replacement for shortstop Rafael Furcal, who has been disabled for nearly three weeks.

Chin-lung Hu made the club out of Spring Training largely because of Abreu's absence.

Manager Joe Torre said he is not expecting Abreu back this year, but said "hopefully, this will solve all the problems the kid's gone through."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.