Gonzalez to have season-ending elbow surgery

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) -- Atlanta Braves reliever Mike Gonzalez will miss
the rest of the season after learning he must have elbow
ligament-replacement surgery.

Gonzalez, placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 16th with a
left elbow strain, said today he was found to have a small tear in
a ligament below his left elbow.

The tear was discovered in an M-R-I performed in New York
yesterday by Doctor Dave Altchek, the specialist who also has
performed two elbow surgeries on another Braves left-handed
pitcher, Mike Hampton.

Gonzalez said today, "This is the worst news you can
get."

Braves manager Bobby Cox said he hopes Gonzalez can return by
the middle of the 2008 season. The normal recovery time for
pitchers is at least a year.

A first MRI in Atlanta found no serious problem, but the
Braves and Gonzalez remained concerned after an unusually sharp
drop in the velocity of his pitches.

Gonzalez said, "I hadn't thrown 82 (miles per hour)
since high school. I was feeling something uncomfortable. You just
don't drop ten or 15 miles per hour."

No date has been set for the surgery, but Gonzalez said he
expects to have the procedure next week.

Gonzalez, obtained by the Braves in an offseason trade that sent
first baseman Adam LaRoche to the Pittsburgh Pirates, was 2-and-0
with a 1.59 E-R-A and two saves in 18 games this season.


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