Baker reveals left knee surgery
GOODYEAR, Ariz. –- Reds manager Dusty Baker revealed on Wednesday morning that he underwent arthroscopic surgery to clean out his left knee this past Jan. 4. Baker said that he has an arthritic bone-on-bone situation and that knee replacement could be next.
“That is what I’m trying to avoid, right now,” Baker said prior to a split-squad doubleheader against the Padres and later the Dodgers at Goodyear Ballpark.
Baker had been icing the knee as reporters came into his office for the regular morning media session. He said it was a recurrence of an old injury he had as a player decades ago.
“Surgery once every 35 years, I’ll take it,” Baker said.
Baker, a Sacramento, Calif., native who still spends the offseason there, said that the knee locked up on him on Dec. 26 when some frayed meniscus caught in the joint. He and his wife were supposed to travel to Vancouver the next day.
“My wife said, ‘You’re not going to Vancouver, you’re going to see the doctor.’ I told her, ‘I don’t want to go to the doctor,’” Baker recalled. “But I did and when the doctor looked at it he said he wanted me right in for the surgery.”
Johnny B. Baker Jr., 62, played 19 years for the Braves, Dodgers, Giants and A’s. He’s a prostate cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with the disease that kills 50,000 U.S. men a year back in 2002 when he managed the Giants. This is his fifth season managing the Reds after stints in the same job with the Giants and Cubs.
Baker also said that Wednesday was a tough day for him because his father, Johnny B. Sr., would’ve been 87. His dad passed away in late 2009.
“He loved to plant and raise roses and I love to do it,” Baker said. “I’m sorry if I might have been a little cross today, but it’s a tough day.”