Mets "disappointed" Carlos Beltran had surgery without team OK

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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Mets center-fielder Carlos Beltran had surgery on his knee Wednesday without getting permission from the club, a team spokesman said Thursday.

"There is an issue regarding the process that was followed regarding the surgery," assistant general manager John Ricco told reporters on a conference call.

"We wanted to have the opportunity to digest the information and the diagnosis and unfortunately we were never afforded the opportunity to do that."

Beltran, who missed half of last season because of an injury to his right knee, flew to Colorado on Tuesday with the Mets' blessing to consult with noted orthopedist Dr Richard Steadman, who recommended surgery to clean up his knee.

Ricco said the Mets were "disappointed" by the process.

Beltran will be sidelined 12 weeks before resuming baseball workouts and was expected to miss at least the first month of the 2010 season which starts in April.

Ricco said the primary concern was five-time All-Star Beltran's health and how quickly he can get back on the field.

However, the Mets sent a letter of objection to Boras.

"We're just reserving our rights under the contract," Ricco said, adding that the club was supposed to approve surgeries. "Where it goes from here, we're not sure right now."

Beltran has two more years to go on his seven-year, $119 million contract.

"For both sides, what is important is for Carlos to be healthy and productive for the Mets," said Ricco.

The Mets began last season considered National League contenders before injuries to key players including shortstop Jose Reyes, first baseman Carlos Delgado and Beltran.

They posted a 70-92 record, finishing 23 games behind the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East.

Ricco said the Mets were discussing whether they needed to make further roster moves because of Beltran's absence.

(Editing by Justin Palmer)