Durazo will undergo season-ending surgery on elbow

Updated: July 19, 2005, 10:00 PM ET
Associated Press

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Oakland Athletics designated hitter Erubiel Durazo will undergo season-ending surgery on his left elbow, and is expected to be sidelined an additional nine to 12 months.

Durazo, 30, has been out of the lineup since May 25 after being diagnosed with tendinitis. He went on the disabled list for the seventh time in his career.

"You always go the six to eight weeks of rehab time before you go the surgery route -- because once you open it up, you know that it's nine to 12 months. And that's optimistic," head trainer Larry Davis said. "So you dedicate the six to eight weeks to try to build up the strength and see if you can get away with it."

The procedure, known as Tommy John surgery, will be performed on Friday by Angels team physician Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles. Durazo underwent an MRI that revealed the damage, which was initially diagnosed as tendinitis.

"Knowing that he was just going to DH for us, we figured we could just rehab him for his swing," Davis said. "But that didn't work, and you get fatalistic after a while. You want to compete, but he couldn't get to the point where he could swing a bat effectively. He was trying to before he went on the disabled list. He was OK as long as the pitch was inside, but he couldn't get to an outside pitch."

Davis has heard of players who have recovered in a shorter amount of time from the reconstructive surgery. He pointed out that it usually doesn't happen that way, but added that Durazo's overall condition will help speed the process.

"I would look at the All-Star break next year, in reality," Davis said. "He had done everything in the world that you can ask a human being to do in rehab. He made every one of his appointments. He got there, he worked hard, he stayed late, he kept himself in superb shape as far as his running. I mean, he's one of those guys who is highly conditioned.

"If this had worked, his rehab time would have been fairly short because he was in good shape, in regards to playing. But he just couldn't get to the point where we could get him a swing that was capable of competing with. It just wasn't possible."

Durazo was hitting .237 with four homers and 16 RBIss in 41 games. Last season, his second with the A's, he had 22 homers, 88 RBIss and a career-best .321 average -- the fifth-highest ever by a DH with a minimum of 500 at-bats.

Durazo played four seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks, including 2001 when they won the World Series.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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