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PHOENIX (AP) _ San Francisco Giants outfielder Marvin Benard will be sidelined for at least two months and could be lost for the season after surgery on his injured left knee Friday uncovered far more cartilage damage than expected.

The Giants initially thought Benard would be back shortly after the All-Star break.

``It's not good at all,'' manager Dusty Baker said before Friday night's game against Arizona. ``I was praying it wouldn't be anything serious. I knew it was something when it responded to a shot, and then the next day it was gone. I just hope they got it all and did what they had to do.''

The operation was performed in the San Francisco area by team orthopedist Gary Fanton. Part of the procedure was designed to minimize the threat of arthritis that could hamper Benard's mobility in later years.

``There's still life after baseball,'' Baker said, ``so this operation had to be done not only for now, but for his life after baseball. I heard he had some arthritis or something, and he's mighty young for that.''

Giants trainer Stan Conte said Benard is expected to be on crutches for about a month.

``I hate to say he's out for the season, because I think there's still a timeline that could be a possibility for this year,'' Conte said, ``but it's definitely not what we were talking about before, because the rehab for this is so slow.''

The knee started bothering Benard two weeks ago against Oakland, then it worsened in Colorado.

Benard was placed on the 15-day disabled list before Wednesday's game in Colorado. He was hitting .293 with one home run and 13 RBIs. In the 19 games before he went on the DL, he was hitting .391 (18-for-46) with 10 runs, six doubles, a triple, a home run and six RBIs.

Baker didn't know how the Giants would replace Benard's left-handed bat.

``Hopefully, everybody else steps up,'' Baker said. ``He's a big part of our offense, and he was starting to play more.''