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Dipoto: Mariners 3B Kyle Seager needs 8-10 weeks to recover from surgery

Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager had three RBIs Thursday. (AP)

Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager’s first-ever stint on the injured list will be a lengthy one.

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Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Shannon Drayer that Seager will need 8-10 weeks of recovery following Tuesday’s successful surgery to repair torn tendons in the knuckle areas between the index and middle fingers on his left hand.

“Forecast is that he’ll be able to start swinging a bat during week 8,” Dipoto said. “While it’s possible he could ready for an MLB return by week 10, it seems more likely that the rehab, timing, game prep, etc., might take a bit longer than two weeks.”

Dr. Donald Sheridan, a hand specialist, performed the surgery in Phoenix on Tuesday.

The Mariners didn’t have a specific timetable for Seager’s recovery before his surgery, though the team did expect that he would miss the month of April at the very least. With the 8-10 week projected recovery time and necessary rehab assignment in the minors to get back up to Major League speed, Seager might not be back with the Mariners until June.

The 31-year-old Seager is a one-time All-Star and one-time Gold Glove winner, but he struggled last season while being hampered with a broken toe. He finished 2018 with a career-low .221 batting average, though his 22 home runs and 78 RBIs marked the seventh straight season he’d hit at least 20 homers and driven in 69 or more runs. Seager also played 154 games or more in each of those seasons.

Seager arrived at Mariners spring training in Arizona with a slimmed-down figure in an effort to improve his flexibility and prevent injuries like last season’s broken toe. But in a March 8 Cactus League game, Seager injured his left hand by rolling over it while diving on a defensive play.

With Seager out of action, the Mariners are turning to Ryon Healy to play third base. Healy was Seattle’s primary first baseman in 2018 but came up to the Majors with the Oakland A’s as a third baseman, where he played 108 games in 2016 and 2017.

The Mariners are leaving Thursday for Japan, where they will begin the regular season with two games against the Oakland A’s on March 20-21.

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