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Career-saving sports surgeon dies of cancer

LOS ANGELES — Renowned orthopedic surgeon Lewis Yocum, who extended the careers of many big-leaguers by repairing injuries that once would've ended their playing days, died Saturday. He was 65.

Mr. Yocum had been the Angels team orthopedist for 36 years. Team spokesman Tim Mead said Tuesday that Yocum died in Manhattan Beach.

"I wouldn't be here without him," Nationals RHP Jordan Zimmermann said. "He's fixed a lot of guys and done a lot for the game of baseball."

Mr. Yocum had been ill with liver cancer, which he kept private.

"We totally understood that," Angels All-Star RHP Jered Weaver said. "He just wanted to deal with it with his family and didn't want to have to put that on us. When we heard that he was going through liver cancer, it was tough to hear that. A guy like that only comes around in this world every so often."

Mr. Yocum worked at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles with clinic founder Frank Jobe, who pioneered the elbow ligament replacement surgery known as Tommy John surgery.

Mr. Yocum, Jobe and James Andrews became the key surgeons for big-leaguers. "They're just as much a part of the game as the players, keeping us on the field," Washington manager Davey Johnson said.

HEALING YANKS: Yankees INFs Mark Teixeira (right wrist) and Kevin Youkilis (lumbar spine sprain) left Tampa to begin rehab assignments at Double-A Trenton. Also, RH reliever Joba Chamberlain was activated from the disabled list after missing a month with a strained oblique.

BLUE JAYS: RHP Brandon Morrow left after two innings with soreness in his forearm but is not expected to miss his next start.

BREWERS: LF Ryan Braun was back in the lineup after missing a game with a right thumb injury.

CARDINALS: RHP Michael Wacha, 21, one of the team's top prospects, will be called up from Triple-A Memphis to make his big-league debut Thursday.

INDIANS: Closer Chris Perez, who is on the 15-day disabled list, will not throw for a week after an MRI exam revealed tendinitis in his right (pitching) shoulder.

NATIONALS: RF Bryce Harper sat out a second straight game with bursitis in his left knee and isn't expected to play again until at least Friday.

PADRES: C Yasmani Grandal was reinstated from the restricted list after he missed the first 50 games of the season while serving a suspension for a positive testosterone test.

PHILLIES: Veteran RHP Carlos Zambrano, who signed a minor-league contract two weeks ago, made his debut for Class A Clearwater.

RED SOX: RHP Clay Buchholz, who was scratched from Monday's start with discomfort in his collarbone, was cleared to pitch Friday night. … LH reliever Franklin Morales, out all season with a strained pectoral muscle, was activated from the disabled list. RHP Alfredo Aceves was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Career-saving sports surgeon dies of cancer 05/28/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 9:09pm]
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