LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Detroit Tigers outfielder Andy Dirks is expected to miss three months because of a back problem that requires surgery.
Manager Brad Ausmus has a good idea of what Dirks can expect — he says he had the same injury a few years ago.
"My understanding is a piece of the disk tore away from the whole of the disk," Ausmus said. "They're just going to go in and remove that piece and clean up the area on the disk where it had come off."
General manager Dave Dombrowski says the 28-year-old Dirks will have surgery Monday. Dirks was expected to share the left field spot with Rajai Davis, whom the Tigers signed in the offseason.
Dombrowski says Dirks has dealt with back issues for a while.
"He's had twinges there, he goes back, he says, all the way to high school," Dombrowski said. "The other day, he just said it was bothering him, and it bothered him more."
The team had him checked out by a specialist Tuesday and found out the diagnosis. Dirks hit .256 with nine home runs in 131 games last year. He hit .322 in 2012.