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10/20/08 5:15 PM ET

Lowell has surgery on right hip

Red Sox hope third baseman will recover by spring

BOSTON -- Mike Lowell underwent surgery on Monday to repair the partially torn labrum in his right hip that hampered the third baseman through much of the 2008 campaign.

Lowell, the 2007 World Series MVP, played just two games during the American League Division Series against the Angels before being removed from the ALDS roster. He was unavailable against Tampa Bay in the ALCS, which the Rays won with a 3-1 victory in Game 7 on Sunday in St. Petersburg.

Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said the procedure was deemed "a complete success," noting two bony lesions and a tiny portion of the labrum were removed from Lowell's hip.

"I think today was a big day for the organization," Epstein said. "They finally got a look in there. They didn't see anything they didn't expect. They were actually pleasantly surprised."

Epstein said as Lowell, 34, begins the recovery phase on Tuesday, it should take an estimated three to four months before he's ready to compete on the diamond.

"It could be less than that, and it shouldn't be more than that," Epstein said. "He should be ready to go for Spring Training or shortly thereafter."

Lowell's production was visibly hindered for most of the season by his hip troubles as well as a strained right oblique in August. His production plummeted as a result.

In 2007, Lowell missed just eight games, batting .324 with 21 homers and 120 RBIs. He finished fifth in the AL MVP voting, and batted .400 in the World Series to help Boston to its second title in four years.

This time around, Lowell played in just 113 games, batting .274 with 17 homers and 73 RBIs. He played in Games 1 and 3 of the ALDS, going 0-for-8 at the plate before being shut down for the year.

If the surgery is any indication, the two-time All-Star third baseman might enjoy a more fruitful campaign in 2009.

"Now, we'll monitor the rehab and the recovery," Epstein said. "But we'll expect Mike to be ready to contribute right from the start."

Mark Remme is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.