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February 4, 2009 at 4:43 PM

Kotsay likely to start 2009 on DL

The Red Sox announced today that reserve first baseman/outfielder Mark Kotsay will likely begin the 2009 season on the DL after undergoing surgery to remove a displaced disc fragment in his back. The surgery was performed on January 29th by Dr. Robert Watkins. According to Amalie Benjamin of Boston.com, Kotsay is expected to miss at least the first month of the season, with an expected return at some point in May. Kotsay, who has suffered from back trouble throughout his career, was to serve as a backup at first base and in the outfield and as a lefthanded hitter off the bench. The most likely candidate to replace him on the active roster is the recently acquired Brad Wilkerson, who also bats from the left side and could backup the same positions. Other possibilities include Paul McAnulty and Chris Carter, both of whom were slated to begin the year at Triple-A Pawtucket.