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Surgery brings good news for injured Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Akinori Iwamura

Rays 2B Akinori Iwamura could be back in six to eight weeks as he had only a partial tear of the ACL in his left knee.

Iwamura was originally diagnosed with a full tear and considered out for the rest of the season. Rays orthopedist Dr. Koco Eaton performed surgery Monday and was able to repair the partial tear, as well a torn meniscus, in an arthroscopic procedure rather than reconstructive surgery as planned.

Iwamura was injured May 24 when Florida's Chris Coghlan slid hard into him on a play at second. Iwamura is in the final year of his contract, with the Rays holding a 2010 option.

Familiar foes: For a guy who left, Pat Burrell has seen plenty of his former Phillies teammates — spring training, two April exhibitions in Philadelphia and a trip back for their World Series championship ring ceremony.

Tonight starts the final chapter, his first regular-season meeting against his old mates.

In a way, he sees it as old news. "What's done is done," he said. "We obviously turned the page."

But when he started thinking about standing in the batter's box facing old buddy Jamie Moyer, he acknowledged it will be something special.

"That makes it exciting," he said. "Truthfully, I'll be looking forward to it. It should be an exciting series."

Burrell hasn't done too well since joining the Rays, hitting .240 with just five extra-base hits and missing five weeks with a neck strain.

Rehab report: Scott Kazmir pitched six sharp innings for Triple-A Durham in his second rehab start Monday, allowing a run on five hits, striking out five and walking none to outduel Red Sox prospect Clay Buchholz. Kazmir, who was on an 85-pitch limit, threw 78, 55 for strikes. He has been out more than a month, sidelined by a right quad strain and taking time to rebuild his mechanics. The Rays said he will be re-evaluated today and could rejoin the rotation by the end of this week or make another minor-league appearance.

Upton honored: CF B.J. Upton was named AL player of the week after hitting .429 with two homers and an AL-best nine RBIs in six games. Upton, struggling much of the season, raised his average to .240.

Miscellany: Ben Zobrist has seven June homers, two shy of Jose Canseco's team record set in 1999. … David Price starts tonight; last time he faced the Phillies at the Trop, he was closing out Game 2 of the World Series.

Surgery brings good news for injured Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Akinori Iwamura 06/22/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 7:19am]

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