Texas Rangers third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff is scheduled to have back surgery today. Ranger fans were just getting to know Kouzmanoff before he went on the disabled list with a herniated disk. He quickly became a fan favorite and chants of Kouz could be heard throughout the ballpark.
Kouzmanoff has had back issues throughout his career, which stem from a fall down into the dugout stairs while trying to catchy a fly ball in 2004 when he was playing in the Arizona Fall League. He never required surgery before this incident with the Texas Rangers.
For the Texas Rangers and fans they’ll miss having a guy on the team who is able to hit the ball well and cover third base when Adrian Beltre needs a day off. Kouzmanoff has only played in 13 games/47 at-bats, but he had big numbers with a batting average of .362 with 2 home runs and 10 RBI. He didn’t carry the team in April, but he did do his part in the lifting. Especially when you consider he filled in some big shoes with the absence of Beltre.
What’s wrong with Kouz? To be exact, he has lumbar herniated disc (L5-S1). The L5 means (at L4-L5 level) there is nerve impingement from the herniated disk, which can cause weakness in extending the big toe and possibly the ankle. Also, there could be numbness and pain on the top of the foot and/or pain in the buttocks. The S1 means (at L5-S1 level) there may be loss of ankle reflex and/or weakness with the ankle push off. Numbness on the bottom of the foot. (From – Spine-health.com)
For Kouzmanoff, he waited 924 days to return to majors, at age 32 he doesn’t want to wait that long again to return. From all of the reports, the type of surgery he’ll have should have him back to doing baseball activities in 5-6 weeks and hopefully back with the Rangers in 8-12 weeks.