Former National League MVP Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds will have surgery Tuesday to fix a torn meniscus in his left knee and will be out of action for up to a month.
Votto, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI in Sunday's win over the St. Louis Cardinals after going a combined 0-for-8 in the first two games of the series, banged up the June 29 against the San Francisco Giants and was briefly sidelined. He returned July 3 but has hit just .281 since then.
"Joey Votto met with the medical staff (Monday) evening and has been diagnosed with a torn meniscus in his left knee," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said in a statement. "He is going to have arthroscopic surgery tomorrow and should miss 3-4 weeks. Joey is very comfortable with the decision and is eager to return to the lineup."
The 28-year-old first baseman from Etobicoke, Ont., opted to have arthroscopic surgery now so he could return to help the Reds try to secure a playoff spot down the stretch.
"It is in my best interest and in the best interest of the team to do it now, so that I can be healthy during the last two months of the pennant race," Votto said on the team's official website.
Votto played in the MLB All-Star Game in Kansas City last week. He is batting .342 on the season, with 14 home runs and 49 RBIs.
The loss of Votto is huge for the Reds, who took a one-game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Central Division into Monday's games. He missed just three starts in the Reds' first 88 games of the season.