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David Aardsma's Hip Labrum More Problematic Than First Thought; May Delay Closer's Return

David Aardsma’s balky hip had stymied the Seattle Mariners front office in their attempts to trade him over the winter, but was not expected to be particularly problematic in terms of its effect on the 2011 season. Early optimism was cast aside, however, by what the surgeons actually found when they went in to repair his hip labrum on Monday:

"[The surgeons] went in and had to do a little bit more," Zduriencik said. "They’re pleased with how it went, but it’s possible he may be delayed by a couple of weeks."

Aardsma’s rest period after the surgery was originally scheduled to put him back and ready for action in the middle of spring training – now that’s being pushed back to the very end, meaning that Opening Day is now a major question mark. If he does miss the beginning of the season, there are a number of candidates for the closing role, with setup man Brandon League seemingly most likely to fill in for a few weeks while Aardsma pitches his way back to full fitness. In two years as a closer for the Mariners, Aardsma has recorded 69 saves with a 2.90 ERA.