Sunday, September 30, 2012

Paul Konerko Will Need Hand Surgery This Winter

While he says it hasn't had any impact on his ability to hit this year, Paul Konerko did admit before Sunday's home finale that he'll need surgery on his hand this offseason. The surgery will be to remove a floating bone fragment in his left hand that has moved between Konerko's hand and wrist.

"It is something I need to take care of," Konerko told ESPNChicago. "I don't feel it has impacted anything I've done this year. It is just time to get it out of the way."

Now it's hard to know when this injury actually started bothering Konerko, as he says he's been dealing with the injury since 2009. Since then whenever the pain has flared up Konerko says he's received treatment or taken a shot for it.

While I don't think this is the sole reason for Konerko's finish to the year, it's not crazy to think that this fragment presents more of a problem later in the year as the wear and tear of a season gets to him.

At the same time, Konerko's also 36 years old. Bone fragment or no bone fragment, it's not shocking to see him slow down at the end of the season.

Whatever the cause for it, there's no denying that Paulie hitting only .255/.324/.426 in the second half -- only .231/.299/.402 in August and September -- definitely played a role in this team's late season collapse. As did Robin Ventura's determination to keep Konerko in the clean-up spot in spite of his struggles.

Konerko will enter the final year of his contract in 2013, and it's possible he'll be available via trade this winter as well.

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