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Third-base coach recovering from hernia surgery

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Mariners will be without third-base coach John Stearns for four to six weeks after he underwent laparoscopic surgery Monday for a hiatal hernia.

Shortly after arriving in Arizona, Stearns suffered discomfort in his upper abdomen and thought he was having a heart attack, manager Lloyd McClendon said. The surgery was performed by Dr. Jamison Foster at Arrowhead Hospital in Glendale.

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Stearns was released Tuesday afternoon and was told by team trainers to stay at home for a couple of days.

McClendon and general manager Jack Zduriencik will discuss internal options to fill the third-base coaching vacancy during Spring Training and perhaps into the regular season.

The Mariners open Cactus League play Thursday and their regular-season opener is five weeks away, March 31.

Stearns, 62, is in his first season as the team's third-base coach, after serving as the organization's Minor League catching coordinator in 2012 and the first part of 2013 before taking over managing duties for Triple-A Tacoma on May 2. He also was a professional scout with the Mariners in 2010-11.

Stearns, nicknamed "Bad Dude" during his playing days, played 11 seasons with the Phillies and Mets before he retired following the 1984 season.

Chris Gabel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"event":["spring_training" ] }
{"event":["spring_training" ] }