In what a Minnesota Twins official described as "a minor procedure," All-Star catcher Joe Mauer recently had surgery to eliminate a kidney obstruction, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Twins General Manager Bill Smith said that Mauer is recovering from the Dec. 22 surgery and is expected to be ready for spring training when pitchers and catcher report to Fort Myers, Fla., on Feb, 14.
"It's something he's had since birth," Smith said. "It is something that has bothered him more lately. Everything went fine and he will be ready for the season."
Mauer, who led the American League with a .328 batting average last season, had the surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
It's unclear how much discomfort, if any, Mauer was in during the regular season because of the condition. Attempts to reach Mauer or his agent, Ron Shapiro, were unsuccessful Friday.
Mauer, 25, posted a .413 on-base percentage last season, adding nine homers and 85 RBI. He also was fourth in the majors with 1,203 innings caught. He missed more than 120 games in 2004 because of left knee surgery, so any physical ailment the St. Paul native deals with tends to be big news in these parts. But it should be pointed out that he was generally healthy in 2005, 2006 and last season, with left quadriceps and left hamstring injuries shelving him for about a month and a half in 2007.