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Stanton has successful knee surgery; Marlins expect he'll be out 4-6 weeks

ST. LOUIS -- The Marlins announced earlier this morning that All-Star Giancarlo Stanton had successful arthroscopic surgery to remove loose bone and cartilage fragments in his right knee. He is expected to be out four to six weeks.

The procedure was performed on Sunday morning by team physician, Dr. Lee Kaplan, in Miami.

An MRI taken on Tuesday revealed Stanton had some "loose bodies" in his knee. The 22-year-old missed four straight starts before returning to the lineup on Saturday against the Cardinals. He played two innings in the field and singled in his only at-bat before being lifted for Scott Cousins in the third inning.

The team is hopeful that Stanton, who leads the team with 19 homers and 50 RBI, can be back in early August to help them make a playoff push. Justin Ruggiano is expected to get plenty of playing time in right field with Stanton out. On Friday, the Marlins will reinstate center fielder Emilio Bonifacio off the disabled list and insert him in the lineup right away.

"Giancarlo knows he wants to come back, he needs to come back," Marlins President David Samson said. "We need him. He believes in the team and he wanted to have surgery immediately. It's not like he waited to have surgery. He left immediately. He was on a plane last night and on the operating table this morning. His interest is coming back. He's got to see how it responds. It was an arthroscopic surgery and it's a matter of the incision healing and then you're good to go."