KANSAS CITY -- When the Royals announced that second baseman Johnny Giavotella underwent hip surgery last Thursday, it came as a surprise because there had been no outward indication of any injury.
"It actually surprised me, too," Giavotella said as he recuperated in New Orleans where he lives, "because the pain was constant but it wasn't too bad to where I thought something was torn. But it was just one of those things where I could get it fixed and get it out of the way."
Giavotella, a rookie who was brought up on Aug. 5, played through the end of the season and finished strong, with a .375 average in his last eight games.
"My groin had been hurting probably the last two, three weeks of the season and I just played through it," he said.
However, the Royals' exit physical examination revealed a slight labral tear in his right hip, and he went to Dr. Marc Philippon, a Vail, Colo., specialist who had operated on Royals teammate Alex Gordon and Yankees star Alex Rodriguez among others.
"He should be fine," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. "It wasn't nearly as serious as what Alex Gordon went through. Same type of surgery but not nearly as intrusive."
Giavotella said he's feeling great and expects to be swinging a bat and throwing by the end of December and ready to go full-bore in January, in plenty of time for the start of Spring Training in February.
"Dr. Philippon said it was a very slight tear in the labrum and the labrum doesn't repair itself, so we had to go in and fix it," Giavotella said. "It's only going to take two months to get back where we need it to be and three months to where it'll be 100 percent and I'll be going out and playing like I usually do."
There wasn't any specific incident that caused the problem.
"It was just kind of wear and tear and overuse from a long season, and I look forward to getting it out of the way and being ready to start it up," Giavotella said.