The chances of Alfonso Soriano returning this season are growing increasingly bleak.
The Cubs left fielder has not played since Sept. 3 because of inflammation in his left knee, and he likely will miss the rest of the year.
"I'm very disappointed, but I have to do what I have to do," Soriano told ESPN 1000 before Friday's game against the Reds. "I'm battling. Now I think I want to get an operation sooner than later ... to get ready for next year. I have to play with one leg now."
Manager Lou Piniella classified the prospects for Soriano's 2009 return as "doubful." He said Soriano will see his own doctor to get a second opinion, and that the team will know more in the next few days.
The good news is that if Soriano has surgery, it will not be serious.
"I would think if he has a procedure done before the end of the year, it'll just be to clean it up a little," Piniella said.
Piniella expects Soriano to be ready for Spring Training. Soriano is hitting .241 with 20 home runs this season after spending a significant portion of the year playing hurt.