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Bloomquist sets sights on Spring Training

After knee surgery, versatile veteran limited to cheering on Mariners

Bloomquist sets sights on Spring Training

SEATTLE -- Willie Bloomquist was back in the Mariners clubhouse Saturday after undergoing microfracture knee surgery on Friday, but the veteran utility man will be wearing crutches instead of one of his many gloves for the remainder of this season.

The 36-year-old says he'll be ready to return by Spring Training after having the procedure on his right knee performed by Mariners medical director Dr. Ed Khalfayan.

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"My plan is to be full go before spring," he said. "The only way I won't be is if I do something stupid, which I've maybe been known to do a time or two when I push through things I'm not supposed to. But in this situation, I do have a little extra time with the last two months of this season and all offseason.

"So given that, I fully anticipate being 100 percent before spring or at spring at the latest. That's my mindset. That's what I'm going to get to and that's where I will be, come Spring Training."

Bloomquist had similar microfracture surgery on his left knee after the 2009 season with the Royals and returned in time to start the 2010 season. He said this procedure was somewhat different as doctors took cartilage from another area and patched the microfracture hole to improve healing, while also cleaning up some other issues.

"It's something I've dealt with before," he said. "The rehab stinks, there's no way around that. But what is my alternative? I'm going to be fine. I'll make it through this. It's just another pothole in the road I'll need to get over. I'm going to be OK."

Bloomquist said his knee already feels better than before he went in for surgery, though now he must deal with the pain of not being able to help the Mariners down the stretch as they fight for a postseason berth. The 13-year Major League veteran has another year on his Seattle contract at $3 million, but this season is going exactly the way he'd hoped when he re-signed with his hometown club last winter.

"It's been a tough pill to swallow," he said. "This is the situation I wanted to be in, in Seattle for a long time, being in a playoff race. For me, that stings a little. But I'm certainly not going to let my personal sorrows bring down what's going on here. We have a chance to do something special in here, so for me being around and part of it and giving my support to my teammates is important. Obviously I'm not going to be available this year, but I can still support these guys and that's about all I can do."

Bloomquist said he won't travel with the team but will be at all the remaining home games. His season ended with a .278 average in 47 games as he played every position except center field and catcher.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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