ST. LOUIS • Cardinals top prospect Oscar Taveras with have surgery next week to address lingering pain around his right ankle, and regardless of the extent of the procedure his 2013 season is over before he truly had a chance to begin it.
Taveras visited a foot and ankle specialist this week in North Carolina after having another recurrence of soreness in the joint at the start of this week.
Dr. Robert Anderson, a Charlotte-based physician, will perform the surgery. He also operated on Yankees captain Derek Jeter.
Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak confirmed this evening that Taveras will have an exploratory procedure next week that will determine if there is something structural wrong with the ligaments around the ankle or if some other repair needs to take place. The extent of the surgery will determine the length of time Taveras will need to recover.
Taveras will not be available for a September promotion.
The Cardinals had hoped to have Taveras back on the field this weekend for rehab-assignment games in Jupiter, Fla. It was one of several times that Taveras has been scheduled for game play and then pushed back because of renewed soreness in and around the joint. He has twice gone on the disabled list this season with the injury.
Mozeliak said the procedure should not limit Taveras' ability to play in spring training, where he will report next season with a chance to win a job in the majors.
Mozeliak added that it's too early to speculate how the team might approach its right field opening for 2014 based on Taveras' availability or readiness. The Cardinals could opt to re-sign veteran Carlos Beltran or go with Allen Craig in right and Matt Adams at first base.
Limited to 46 games at Class AAA Memphis, Taveras hit .306/.341/.462 in 173 at-bats this season.