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Uggla to have eye surgery, sent to DL

Uggla to have eye surgery, sent to DL

Uggla to have eye surgery, sent to DL

ATLANTA -- Dan Uggla opted not to wear contact lenses when he was diagnosed with astigmatism during Spring Training. When he relented in June, he viewed it as a more acceptable solution than undergoing vision-correcting LASIK surgery and missing at least two weeks while recovering from the procedure.

But with his struggles mounting and the contacts not providing the desired results, Uggla did not put up a fight when the Braves approached him on Tuesday afternoon and advised him to have LASIK performed.

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"Obviously, I don't want to go on the DL whatsoever, but at the same time, we've got to do what is best for the team right now," Uggla said. "I've been struggling pretty bad and battling with the contacts and grinding with those things day in and day out, so I think the best thing is to go ahead and do it now."

Uggla will undergo the procedure by the end of this week and then spend a few days allowing his eyes to heal. He hopes to be back in the lineup when he is eligible to come off the DL on Aug. 28.

Tyler Pastornicky, who was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday, will serve as the starting second baseman in Uggla's absence.

"When this procedure works -- and I do say 'when' instead of 'if' because of the success rate -- we may see a guy that's a new player," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "So that's encouraging for me."

In addition to a team-high 21 home runs, Uggla has a Major League-worst .186 batting average and a National League-high 146 strikeouts. When he began wearing contacts on June 21, he was hitting .194, with a .715 OPS. In the 45 games that followed, he has hit .174, with a .668 OPS.

"Battling with this all year long has been extremely difficult," Uggla said. "I want to be helping my teammates and helping this organization win every game, because that is what I'm used to doing throughout my career. I haven't been doing that, and I haven't been able to do that. It's been extremely frustrating."

Although Uggla is hoping to return before the end of August, it remains to be seen how quickly he'll get used to his new vision.

Said Brian McCann, who underwent the procedure two weeks after the conclusion of the 2009 season: "I think there's going to be an adjustment period seeing through the eyes he's going to have, and it's going to take a little bit of time. I was fine within three weeks to a month, but again, I don't know, because I didn't do it during the season."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Eric Single is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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