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Stanton returns home to have knee surgery, out of All-Star Game, could be out 4-6 weeks

ST. LOUIS -- Marlins All-Star Giancarlo Stanton is on his way back home to Miami where he will have arthroscopic surgery Sunday morning at 7 a.m. to remove "loose bodies" in his right knee. 

The procedure, which will be performed by Dr. Lee Kaplan, should take less than an hour.

The Marlins say Stanton could be out anywhere from 2-8 weeks depending on how he responds. Stanton will not participate in the All-Star Festivities next week. He's already been replaced by Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.

"It's a fairly simple surgery, athroscopic surgery, remove the loose body and he'll be able to resume range of motion and get back to functional activities," general manager Mike Hill said.

Hill said he met with Stanton as he was pulled off the field Saturday in the third inning.

"It was just discomfort," Hill said. "We knew once we tried it and it flared up again surgery was the logical option.

"Obviously he wanted to represent the National League, but he made it clear he wanted to be there for the Marlins first and foremost and if he couldn't be there for the Marlins he understood that wasn't going to be a possibility."

Hill said the Marlins will look to Emilio Bonifacio to help fill Stanton's shoes when he returns to the team after the All-Star Break. The Marlins will likely put Bonifacio back in centerfield and play Justin Ruggiano and Scott Cousins in right field.

"There's more than enough talent in that clubhouse and guys will have to just continue to step up to help us win ballgames," Hill said.

Manager Ozzie Guillen said the Marlins will take their time to make sure Stanton heals right and will have to find other ways to win without him. Stanton leads the team with 19 homers and 50 RBI.

"It's a big bat," Guillen said. "This is our power hitter, our RBI guy. We have to change the way we're going to play. I think Boni is coming around. Boni is not a Stanton, but we can play a different ballgame. Everybody has to step it up a notch and try to cover the space he's going to leave open. That's all you can do as a team.

"We feel bad for the kid, but we've got 25 guys out there that have to keep working, keep firing."