DETROIT -- What was already expected to be a long injury for Tigers backup catcher Matt Treanor now will likely cost him the rest of the season. On Thursday, Treanor underwent successful surgery to remove a bone spur from his right hip, an issue that bothered him since Spring Training.
Dr. Bryan Kelly, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in hip injuries, performed the surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. The estimated timetable from the Tigers' medical staff is expected to keep him out for the year.
If that indeed ends up the case, Treanor will finish the season with four games played, going 0-for-13 with four strikeouts. He served as the starting catcher for Rick Porcello's Major League debut April 9 at Toronto.
The Tigers signed the 33-year-old Treanor to a one-year, $750,000 contract last December to provide a veteran backup for newly acquired starter Gerald Laird and allow prospect Dusty Ryan to get more seasoning in the Minor Leagues. Treanor spent the previous five seasons with the Marlins, but was non-tendered over the winter.
Treanor underwent sports hernia surgery at the end of last season to repair muscle tears around his left hip, but reported to Spring Training supposedly in playing shape. His right hip issues developed in camp, but he tried to play through them. His struggles to do so landed him on the disabled list last weekend.
The surgery continues a three-year string of misfortunes for backup catchers in Detroit. Vance Wilson missed the 2007 and 2008 seasons with two Tommy John surgeries to repair a torn ligament in his right elbow. Minor Leaguer Mike Rabelo replaced Wilson in 2007 before being dealt to Florida in the Miguel Cabrera trade. Brandon Inge, a former catcher turned infielder, donned the catching gear again last year.
The longer absence for Treanor isn't expected to affect how the Tigers replace him. Minor League veteran Dane Sardinha, who was called up when Treanor went on the DL last weekend, is expected to remain the backup to Laird. The 30-year-old Sardinha made it to Detroit last summer and caught 17 games over two stints. While he'll never be known for his offense, his knowledge of the Tigers' pitching staff from his two-plus seasons at Triple-A Toledo is seen as a significant advantage to go with his defense.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.