Stress fracture ends Dickerson's year

Stress fracture ends Dickerson's year

HOUSTON -- Rookie outfielder Chris Dickerson found out his sore left ankle had little to do with his flat fleet or the new orthotics he'd been trying out in his spikes.

A CT scan taken on Sunday revealed a stress fracture on the posterior of the ankle. Dickerson will not play during the final week of the season and is scheduled to have surgery on Friday to remove a small piece of bone.

Team medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek will perform the procedure in Cincinnati. Dickerson did not accompany the team on its final road trip.

"We knew it was something," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He hadn't played in a while, and he was taking treatment after treatment but couldn't get rid of that pain."

After being called up from Triple-A Louisville on Aug. 12, Dickerson batted .304 with six home runs and 15 RBIs in 31 games, including 25 starts. He's only started three games since Sept. 6.

In 97 games for Louisville, the 26-year-old Dickerson batted .287 with 11 homers, 53 RBIs and 26 stolen bases.

Healthy Reds outfielders have been an endangered species this season, and Dickerson is just the latest one to go down.

"That's been sort of the story of the year. Look at who we lost," Baker said.

Since the beginning of the year, the club lost Norris Hopper (elbow surgery), Ryan Freel (hamstring surgery) and Jerry Hairston Jr. (strained hamstring) to injuries. Mainstay outfielders Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn were traded.

"This is the shortest I've been on a team with outfielders," Baker said. "We only basically have one true outfielder left on the roster, Corey [Patterson]."

Hairston started in center field on Tuesday night, with Jolbert Cabrera in left field. Jay Bruce, who hadn't played since Saturday after being hit on the right hand by a CC Sabathia fastball, returned to the lineup. Wilkin Castillo also has logged time in left field lately. Patterson, a left-handed hitter didn't start with Houston starting lefty Wandy Rodriguez.

During Spring Training, Dickerson was way down the depth chart among outfielders. Depending on what the Reds do this offseason, his solid month in the big leagues has put him in position to compete for a spot.

Durability will be a concern. The upcoming surgery will be one of several Dickerson has had during a still young career.

"We just want him healthy and [to] give himself the best chance," Baker said. "He's had a lot of things happen in his short career already injury-wise. Hopefully this will be the last of it for a while."

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