SAN DIEGO -- Corey Hart thought he had a stomach ache from some bad seafood. A day later, he found himself under a surgeon's knife. The Brewers' starting right fielder was scheduled to have his appendix removed on Sunday night at Scripps Hospital in San Diego and will miss a minimum of 2-3 weeks. Realistically, Hart will likely miss the rest of August, general manager Doug Melvin said. "Best case is probably trying to get him ready for September," Melvin said.
Hart played Saturday night after complaining of a stomach ache, then reported abdominal pain to the team's medical staff after the game. That raised red flags, and when Hart complained of the same symptoms Sunday morning, he changed out of his uniform and went to the hospital. He was to undergo a procedure called a laparoscopy, Brewers head athletic trainer Roger Caplinger said, a minimally-invasive procedure in which the surgeon makes three small incisions in the abdomen. Hart was expected to remain hospitalized for at least two days and would be completely barred from activity for at least seven days following surgery. "It stinks for Corey and it stinks for the team," said shortstop J.J. Hardy, Hart's closest friend on the team. "He was really starting to swing it." Hart was hitting .329 (25-for-76) over his past 22 games. The Brewers were expected to recall Bill Hall from Triple-A Nashville for Monday's series opener in Los Angeles, but not before Hall started in right field for the Sounds on Sunday night. Hall is hitting .201 in the Majors this season and had just begun a stint in Nashville on Friday designed to give him an opportunity to get more regular at-bats. Hall could start in right field for the Brewers on Monday night against Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw, manager Ken Macha said. But left-handed hitter Frank Catalanotto, who started in Hart's place Sunday, figures to see the bulk of starts in Hart's absence. The Brewers also have outfielder Jody Gerut on the bench. "That's nature," Macha said of losing Hart. "He had started swinging the bat pretty well. I don't know what the duration of this will be, but they caught it relatively early." Still, losing Hart came as a big surprise. "I saw him this morning in full uniform," Sunday starter Carlos Villanueva said. "Then I saw him dress and go. He didn't look like he was feeling very good."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.