- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 16, 2011

SURPRISE, ARIZ. (AP) - Texas Rangers pitcher Omar Beltre has been diagnosed with a genetic narrowing of the spine and will have surgery next Tuesday.

Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said Beltre has a condition called spinal stenosis. Beltre will spend a few days in Texas after surgery before flying to Arizona to be with the team.

“Rehab is about six-to-eight weeks before he will commence with baseball activities. This is going to be a little work in progress,” Levine said Wednesday. “We have historically not found a baseball player who had this surgery, so we don’t know exactly what recovery time is.”

Or if the 29-year-old right-hander will even be able to pitch again.

“It’s unknown at this point,” Levine said. “It’s a condition more known in older people. This is something of uncharted waters for a professional athlete.”

Pitchers and catchers reported to spring training Wednesday for the AL champions. The reporting date for the rest of the players is Saturday, a day before first full-squad workout, and the Rangers expect Michael Young to be there if they are unable to fulfill his request for a trade before then.

“We’re operating on the assumptions and expectations he’ll be here,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “If anything happens after that point, we’ll address it.”

Daniels said he is still looking at the possibilities for a trade for Young, though the GM said team officials meeting this week in Arizona “went through our club and how it sets up with the expectation he’ll be an integral part of it.”

Without elaborating, Young has said he was “misled” and “manipulated” by the team.

Young, their longest-tenured player going into his 11th season, requested a trade last month. The Rangers expect him to be their primary designated hitter and super utility player after the January acquisition of two-time Gold Glove third baseman Adrian Beltre. It would be Young’s third position change in eight springs.

Daniels said the team would reach out to Young “before then” if no trade is made by Saturday.

Omar Beltre made two starts for Texas last season. He’s been in the Rangers organization since 2000, and made his major league debut last June 30. He was put on the 60-day disabled list in September with a right ankle injury.

The former top prospect couldn’t get into the United States from the Dominican Republic for five years because of visa problems before making it to spring training last year.

Scott Feldman, the Rangers’ opening day starter last season, is still going through rehabilitation from microfracture right knee surgery last November. Daniels said Feldman should be able to throw off a mound by late March, but won’t be ready for games then.

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