Moehler was forced to leave his Minor League rehab start Tuesday night at Triple-A Round Rock after three innings when he felt discomfort in the groin area. Moehler tore the tendon off a bone in his groin while throwing a simulated game three weeks ago in St. Louis and opted at the time not to undergo surgery and try to rehab the injury.
"It just hasn't responded like I had hoped," Moehler said. "I was getting some sharp pain when I threw breaking pitches and sinking fastballs, and in the third inning last night it got to the point when they'd call a pitch and I'd say, 'What's this going to feel like when I throw it?' It wasn't going to work without surgery."
Moehler, 38, went 1-4 with a 4.92 ERA in 20 games, including eight starts for the Astros this year. He's a 14-year veteran who's 84-107 with a 4.81 ERA in 332 career games, including 252 starts. This is his fifth season with the Astros (2003, 2007-10).
"I'd like to play next year, but we'll see what happens," Moehler said. "It's better off to get the surgery done now than later and it gives me the opportunity, if there is an opportunity to play next year, to get ready and come to Spring Training. It's not a major surgery. I'll be able to pitch again, so it's not a big issue. The longer I waited, the longer it would take me to get back and throw."
Moehler plans to stay in Houston to rehab for the rest of the season. He could begin a throwing program as soon as November if all goes well.