Rangers Pitcher Omar Beltre Needs Spinal Surgery

SURPRISE, AZ (AP) Texas Rangers pitcher Omar Beltre has been diagnosed with a genetic narrowing of the spine and will have surgery next Tuesday.

Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine says Beltre has a condition called spinal stenosis.

Levine says the Rangers don’t know of any other baseball player who has had this surgery. He says the condition is more often seen in older people and is “uncharted waters” for a professional athlete.

The 29-year-old Beltre made two starts for Texas last season. He’s been in the Rangers organization since 2000.

The former top prospect couldn’t get into the United States from the Dominican Republic for five years because of visa problems before making it to spring training last year.

Pitchers and catchers reported to spring training Wednesday for the AL champions.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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