Mike Napoli to undergo facial surgery

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mike Napoli escaped surgery after injuries at various points this season to a finger, a toe, a knee and his back.

The Boston Red Sox first baseman won't be so fortunate with regard to his sleep disorder.

Napoli told sports radio station 93.7 WEEI in Boston that he will undergo a facial-reconstruction operation in hopes of resolving his sleep apnea, a condition in which a person's airway becomes obstructed.

The procedure, called bimaxillary advancement surgery, separates the front portions of the lower and upper jaw and moves them forward to allow more room behind the tongue, reducing the chances of obstruction.

Napoli said he will have the surgery Nov. 4.

"I've been dealing with sleep apnea for a long time, my whole career," Napoli told WEEI.com in a text message. "I've tried numerous things and none of them worked. Dental mouth piece, CPAP machine, medicines ... It's just gotten to the point where I have to get this done."

Napoli previously brought the issue to the Red Sox's attention, prompting them to take advantage of the full offseason to further examine his options.

"It's affected him, so because we have a longer offseason we may look to work with him on some different ways to manage that going forward," Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said last month. "We don't know what that's going to mean yet but just so you guys know it's something we're working with him on."

Napoli will be entering his third season with the Red Sox next year after two with the Texas Rangers and five with the Los Angeles Angels. A career .257 hitter, he batted .248 with 17 home runs and 55 RBIs in 119 games this past season.

Information from ESPNBoston.com contributor Kyle Brasseur was used in this report.