Giants' Jung Hoo Lee to have season-ending shoulder surgery

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Saturday, May 18, 2024

San Francisco Giants outfielder Jung Hoo Leewill undergo season-ending surgery for a torn labrum in his left shoulder in the next couple of weeks, the team announced Friday.

Lee injured the shoulder when he crashed into the center-field wall after he leaped in an attempt to catch a fly ball in Sunday's home game against theCincinnati Reds.He was initially diagnosed with a dislocation, and an MRI later revealed structural damage in the shoulder. Lee received a second opinion Thursday from Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who confirmed the shoulder would require surgery.

Lee will have about six months of rehab and is expected to make a full recovery for the 2025 season, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said.

"First of all I feel bad for him, but obviously for our team he loves playing baseball and he loves playing for the Giants and this was a significant sign for us, so it's disappointing for everybody, mostly for him," manager Bob Melvin said. "We'll find a way to do our thing without him, but he was really a key guy for us and he knows that. Nothing you can do about it. You play a certain way, and sometimes these things are going to happen. Yeah, this is going to take a little bit to sink in."

Lee was one of the big offseason additions for the Giants after starring for years in his native South Korea, where he had surgery on the same shoulder in 2018. He signed a six-year, $113 million contract with San Francisco and had been the team's starting center fielder this season.

Zaidi said the Giants received a couple of medical opinions and said in some cases the surgery can be put off until the end of the season and that a player can rehab through the injury considering the recovery is about six months.

"In this case given his age and the fact that he's injured the shoulder before and just the medical collective consensus, medical opinions, it made sense to get this taken care of right away and give him as much of a head start preparing for 2025 as possible," Zaidi said.

Lee, 25, excelled in the field and hit .262 with two homers, eight RBIs and a .641 OPS in 37 games.Luis Matoshas moved over to center field in place of Lee.

"It's not how I thought [I'd] end my rookie season this year," Lee said through an interpreter. "But from all my baseball career I've had, this could be one of the most disappointing seasons I had. And for now, I'm just trying to think about it more optimistically. Trying to think about not the past, but the future."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.