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Tampa Bay Rays' Jason Isringhausen out for the season

Jason Isringhausen, in center leaving Saturday’s game in the ninth, needs yet another elbow surgery. He is just seven saves short of 300 for his career.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Jason Isringhausen, in center leaving Saturday’s game in the ninth, needs yet another elbow surgery. He is just seven saves short of 300 for his career.

ST. PETERSBURG — Veteran reliever Jason Isringhausen may be done for the season due to upcoming Tommy John ligament replacement surgery — his second elbow procedure within a year — but his agent says the right-hander plans to pitch in the big leagues again.

"This is not a retirement sendoff," agent Dan Horwits said in a phone interview Monday.

An MRI exam Monday revealed Isringhausen, 36, suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Horwits said Isringhausen will have surgery next Tuesday and is hoping that after a 10- to 12-month rehab, he will be able to pitch somewhere by the middle of next season.

"Knowing Jason, in every surgery he's ever had, he's come back early, so I wouldn't put it past him," Horwits said. "You never know."

Isringhausen, who missed all of 1998 after ligament replacement surgery, immediately knew something was wrong when he threw a pitch in the ninth inning Saturday and pulled himself out.

Horwits said Isringhausen talked with his family and his longtime doctor in St. Louis — "who knows Jason's arm better than anybody" — before making the decision to try to return.

Isringhausen had battled back from an elbow surgery in September that ended his 2008 season with the Cardinals.

"He's actually okay; he was a little bit in shock when it happened and obviously disappointed because he had come back so far to where he was really feeling like he was turning a corner and ready to do it like he had before," Horwits said. "The initial shock was there and it's worn off."

Isringhausen, who is on the 60-day disabled list, hasn't been available for comment. Horwits said Isringhausen has "loved" his time with the Rays and it "felt like home," so when and if the two-time All Star is ready to pitch again, "(Rays executive vice president) Andrew (Friedman) will be the first person I call."

Isringhausen, who has 293 career saves, appeared in nine games for the Rays, going 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA.

Right-hander Winston Abreu, with 10 saves and a 1.41 ERA at Triple-A Durham, has been added to the roster.

Tampa Bay Rays' Jason Isringhausen out for the season 06/15/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 6:50am]
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