SAN FRANCISCO -- Dodgers third baseman Bill Mueller will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his balky right knee Monday in Phoenix by Dr. David Zeman, who also operated on the knee in May 2004 and February 2005.
Mueller will have fraying repaired and loose bodies removed. He also has a bone spur in the area, but it won't be known what other work will be needed until the surgery. Manager Grady Little said Mueller is expected to be sidelined four to five weeks.
Mueller was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday. He has had trouble with the knee for years, but it flared up several weeks ago. After committing three errors in two games earlier this week, Mueller said he determined that the injury had compromised his ability to perform to the point where he had to have the surgery.
Little said rookie Willy Aybar will see the bulk of playing time at third base while Mueller is out.
"From what he's shown, I don't see any reason why not," said Little.
Under a different management regime, Aybar received a September callup last year and was very impressive, hitting .326. Ironically, with the winter acquisitions of Mueller and Ramon Martinez and the return of Oscar Robles, Aybar came to Spring Training with virtually no chance to make the club as an extra infielder.
He saw considerable playing time, but hit .216 and was sent to Triple-A Las Vegas, where he was batting .358 when recalled Wednesday.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.