On Thursday, Royals second baseman Johnny Giavotella underwent hip surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip. Early recovery time is reported as 10-12 weeks, which would give him time to make a full recovery before spring training.
Such an injury occurs when the elastic tissue in the hip joint tears, often with a “catch” in the joint. It’s common in athletes due to twisting while the hip is bearing weight. In this case, since it’s the right hip, it may have occurred while Giavotella was taking a swing at some point and turning his back foot (“squishing the bug”) or reaching a ball to his right, where the right leg would be planted and he’d turn to make a throw.
According to Giavotella’s Twitter page, it had bothered him during the season and he mentioned that he was glad to make it to the offseason, so it must not have been too serious if he could play on it.
Alex Gordon had a similar surgery in 2009 shortly after the season began and missed half the year.
Should the injury and recovery keep Giavotella out longer than expected, the Royals still have Chris Getz available for second base duties.
Other candidates include Yamaico Navarro and Jeff Bianchi, who are both on the 40 man roster. Irving Falu could be an option if necessary, too. Kurt Mertins might get a look in camp, at least early, just in case and the Royals could always go out and sign Lance Zawadzki again. More than likely, though, Giavotella will be fine for the start of camp, and, barring a big setback, in no jeopardy to miss any of the regular season.