Beltran undergoes surgery on ailing right elbow

Beltran undergoes surgery on ailing right elbow

NEW YORK -- Carlos Beltran underwent surgery to remove loose pieces and a bone spur from his troublesome right elbow on Tuesday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and the Yankees outfielder is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

The Yankees said that the procedure was performed by head team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad, and that Beltran can begin throwing and hitting in approximately six weeks. Beltran would be cleared to begin playing in approximately 12 weeks.

Beltran, 37, was envisioned as the Yankees' everyday right fielder after signing a three-year, $45 million contract last offseason, but he was able to play just 32 games in the outfield because of injuries, appearing in 76 games as the designated hitter.

"It's been tough, man, honestly speaking," Beltran said this month. "It's hard on your mind every day when you wake up, and you feel it, and you're like, 'Man, I've got to try to find a way.' The good thing is, once this is over, it's going to be fixed and I don't have to worry about it again."

Beltran batted .233 with 15 home runs and 49 RBIs in 109 games in the first year of his deal. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said on Monday that he expects Beltran's production will improve now that the elbow situation has been addressed.

"Carlos is going to be a year older, but his injury was probably something that he had for a while," Girardi said. "It just reared its ugly head this year. You can look at a lot of elbows and probably find something similar to that. It's just a lot of them are asymptomatic."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.