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Ace hoping to return after surgery

SARASOTA — Johan Santana is set for another shoulder surgery that he hopes will save his career.

The former Mets ace is scheduled to have surgery Tuesday to repair the re-torn anterior capsule in his pitching shoulder, the team announced Saturday. The operation will be performed by Mets medical director David Altchek.

Santana, 34, is likely to miss the entire season for the second time in three years, which means he may have thrown his last pitch for the Mets. The two-time Cy Young Award winner is in the final year of a $137.5 million contract.

"It's very difficult. If anybody can do it, it would be Johan," Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen said. "We wish him luck and we feel sick about what's happened."

Santana had surgery Sept. 14, 2010, and did not make it back to the majors until last April 5. The left-hander didn't pitch in any spring games and threw his last bullpen session in early March without the team's permission.

Mets third baseman David Wright said he was not surprised by Santana's decision to have surgery.

"I've known Johan long enough to know that I don't think that he'd want to go out like that. He's going to probably work just as hard, if not — if it's possible — work harder, to come back from this. I wouldn't be surprised at all if I see him pitch again," Wright said.

Santana's comeback reached its apex June 1 when he pitched the first no-hitter in Mets history, throwing a career-high 134 pitches in his second straight shutout. But he was 3-7 with an 8.27 ERA after that, including 0-5 with a 15.63 ERA after pitching eight scoreless innings against the Dodgers on June 30.

He went on the disabled list for three weeks because of a sprained ankle and didn't pitch after Aug. 17 because of lower back inflammation.

In other Mets news, Collin Cowgill was named the starting centerfielder. Cowgill, 26, has played in 74 big-league games with the Diamondbacks and A's.

A-ROD TO ATTEND: Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who is rehabbing from January hip surgery, will be with the team on opening day Monday. General manager Brian Cashman told the Record of Bergen County that he didn't know if Rodriguez would be in uniform.

OBITUARY: Bob Turley, a Cy Young Award winner and three-time All-Star in a 12-year career, died from liver cancer. He was 82. Mr. Turley pitched from 1951-63 and won the 1958 Cy Young for the Yankees.

BREWERS: Left-hander Chris Narveson, coming off May shoulder surgery to repair tears in his labrum and rotator cuff, will begin the season in the bullpen.

CUBS: Former NL rookie of the year left-hander Dontrelle Willis, whose comeback was derailed when he left his Feb.  25 outing with shoulder tightness, and right-hander Hayden Simpson, a former first-round draft pick, were released.

PHILLIES: Outfielder Ender Inciarte, 22, a Rule 5 pick from the Diamondbacks who has not played above Class A, won a spot on the opening day roster.

RED SOX: DH David Ortiz, who will begin the season on the disabled list with pain in both Achilles' heels, could be ready to take live batting practice or play in minor-league games next week, the Boston Globe reported.

ROCKIES: Outfielder Tyler Colvin, who hit .290 with 18 home runs and 72 RBIs last season, was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs, clearing the way for former Ray Reid Brignac and fellow infielder Jonathan Herrera to make the opening day roster.

Ace hoping to return after surgery 03/30/13 [Last modified: Saturday, March 30, 2013 10:46pm]
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