Dopirak May Need Second Surgery

First base prospect Brian Dopirak's season officially ended on Aug. 6 at Carolina. The 22-year-old Dopirak broke the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot during his season debut on April 6 in Birmingham, Ala., but returned almost two months later on June 2.

The metatarsus area consists of the five long bones in a person's foot, numbered in order from one to five. Dopirak broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot, more commonly referred to as "the pinky toe."

After having surgery to repair the bone in April, he returned to Double-A West Tennessee in early June and resumed playing. But eventually, the pain began to resurface in the area and Dopirak was sent to Chicago for X-rays.

"I went through a stretch where I felt good and everything was going right," Dopirak said Tuesday. "Then I started feeling some pain. The Cubs didn't want to take any chances, so as soon as I started feeling pain, they took me out and I saw an orthopedist in Tennessee. Then I went to Chicago to see Dr. [Stephen] Gryzlo."

Dopirak is scheduled to visit with a foot specialist at Duke University in Durham, N.C., later this week. This same specialist has also worked with oft-injured NBA forward Grant Hill in the past, Dopirak said.

Dopirak batted .257 with one homer and 23 RBIs in 52 games for West Tenn.

He isn't sure yet whether additional surgery will be required.

"Playing on it every night, it just wasn't healing right," Dopirak said. "There were times on rainy days when I'd wake up and feel a little sore. It's just one of those things. I should have plenty of time to get back to 100 percent (with the off-season coming up)."

Dopirak was named the Cubs' top prospect by Baseball America following 2004. He hit .307 with 39 home runs and 120 RBIs in 137 games at Class-A Lansing that year. In 2005, he batted .235 with 16 home runs, 26 doubles and 76 RBIs at Class-A Daytona.

Where Dopirak goes now with regards to the foot is completely up to him.

"They [the Cubs] were very open and understanding," Dopirak said of his decision to see the specialist. "They allowed me to see other doctors that they felt strongly about. They've been really great about this."


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