John Kruk To Undergo Surgery On Right Knee

Posted: May 13, 1994

John Kruk, a longtime resident of the Phillies' Macho Row, admitted he was hurting yesterday, his right knee and his psyche both in serious pain.

The first baseman went on the 15-day disabled list, and this morning at Thomas Jefferson Hospital he will have arthroscopic surgery to clean out stray particles and soft cartilage in the knee.

Team doctor Phillip Marone estimated that Kruk would be out of uniform for about three weeks, which seemed to trouble his patient as much as the offending cartilage.

Amid his usual quips, Kruk said: "It's been a pretty trying year so far. Right now, I'm laughing about it, but really I feel like crying, to be honest with you."

Kruk will be making his second appearance on the disabled list this season, having missed the first six games of the season because of testicular cancer.

The Phillies summoned righthanded reliever Bob Wells from double-A Reading to fill the opening on the roster. Wells, 27, has never been to the majors. He had a 1-3 record with a 2.79 ERA and four saves at Reading.

Kruk's knee had been troubling him for a while and fluid was drained from it during the team's last homestand. Yesterday morning, Marone performed a magnetic-resonance-imaging test and discovered the damage.

Marone said he had offered Kruk two options: surgery or toughing it out.

"I can't help this team right now," Kruk said blandly of his decision. He also said that Marone had told him the injury could get worse.

Then he came up with a more colorful explanation for choosing surgery: "I couldn't even score from first on a home run."

Kruk had similar surgery on the same knee in 1989. Marone said the damage had occurred in a slightly different spot then.

In February, Kruk slipped on ice outside his West Virginia home and hurt the knee again, but Marone said an MRI at the time showed that the knee was ''basically normal." He said he wasn't sure whether the current problems were related to the winter mishap.

Kruk had another culprit in mind: the AstroTurf at Veterans Stadium. "It's just like running around on pavement," he said, echoing a complaint issued by several of the Eagles last season.

Kruk called the carpet the worst in the league and said he expected other Phillies to hurt their knees on it. The city is scheduled to replace the turf before the 1995 season.

JUDEN TO 'PEN. Tinkering with a starting rotation that has yielded defeat after defeat, manager Jim Fregosi decided to move Jeff Juden into the bullpen and replace him with fellow righthander Mike Williams, who will start tomorrow.

Williams has no decisons and a 2.25 ERA in 8 innings, and he has allowed 8 hits, walked 6 (3 intentionally) and struck out 5.

Juden is 1-4 with a 6.18 ERA.

ANDERSEN ACHING. Fregosi said that reliever Larry Andersen, still on rehabilitation assignment in Reading, wouldn't be coming off the disabled list this weekend, as expected. Andersen, he said, was having lower-back problems.

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