Byrnes may avoid hamstring surgery

Byrnes may avoid hamstring surgery

WASHINGTON -- Outfielder Eric Byrnes is leaning towards taking a non-surgical approach to recovering from his torn left hamstring, but even if that were to be successful he would still likely miss the rest of the 2008 season.

Byrnes is scheduled to get another MRI taken of the injury Thursday at which time a final decision will be made.

"Unless it looks a little bit different and the tendon is farther away from the bone than what they think, there's a good chance he's leaning towards non-surgical too," D-backs manager Bob Melvin said.

When asked what that meant as far as Byrnes playing again this year Melvin said, "It would probably still be close, towards the end of the year. It still could be that he misses the rest of the season either way."

"I think either way, that's probably the case," Arizona GM Josh Byrnes said.

For now the D-backs plan on using Conor Jackson in left and Chad Tracy at first, but the general manager said the team is exploring all options before the July 31 trade deadline.

"As far as going outside to try to give the offense a jolt, we've looked at a lot of possibilities," Byrnes said. "The reality of every day against a right-handed pitcher, starting Conor Jackson and Chad Tracy, that's a pretty good offense."

When asked if the team considered making an offer to free-agent outfielder Barry Bonds, Byrnes was non-committal, but it sounded as if it was discussed internally.

"He and maybe a couple of others are sort of sitting out there," Byrnes said of the all-time home run leader. "I think it's a bit of assessing any players' readiness, then knocking somebody out of the lineup, dollars, etc. I don't want to talk about him specifically, but, believe me, we've considered a lot of options. There is, sort of, no one obvious option right now, but there are a lot of considerations."

In other injury news, D-backs pitcher Edgar Gonzalez is also planning on choosing a non-surgical option to healing his right elbow. It was originally thought that Gonzalez would need to have Tommy John elbow ligament surgery, but after being examined by specialist Lewis Yocum, it appears Gonzalez will instead try a rest and strengthening program for four-to-six weeks.

"It's probably a four-to-six week rehab before he can start to play catch again," Melvin said. "Now anything can happen in that time period, but that's the option that he's chosen right now. It wasn't big enough to where Edgar was comfortable having the surgery so his first course of action will be to do it non-surgically."

Catcher Chris Snyder said that further tests have revealed that he did not fracture his left testicle, but rather severely bruised it. Snyder is hoping to be ready to come off the disabled list as soon as he's eligible.

"Day-to-day is a steady progression," said Snyder, who played catch Saturday, Sunday and again on Tuesday.

Snyder is scheduled to be examined again July 14.

"He is feeling better," Melvin said. "He potentially, based on how he feels, could catch some bullpens here coming up."

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