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Mulder has surgery; no timetable set for return

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Mark Mulder
underwent surgery to repair a partial tear of his rotator cuff on
Tuesday, and doctors said there were no surprises.

"Everything went just fine," said Cardinals team physician Dr.
George Paletta, who assisted on the surgery with New York Mets team
physician Dr. David Altchek. "He had exactly what we expected."

Paletta said Mulder will begin physical therapy and
rehabilitation in about 10 days.

The surgery was scheduled last week after Mulder consulted with
Altchek for a second opinion. While surgery was being discussed
earlier this month, Mulder had said he didn't believe his offseason
throwing program would be affected. He usually begins throwing in
December.

"That was sort of the best-case scenario," Paletta said.

But Paletta said because a 50-percent tear of the rotator cuff
was repaired rather than a general cleanup of the affected the
area, Mulder might have to deal with a delay of perhaps a month.

"It will mean a longer time for his recovery," Paletta said.
"But I think in the long run that's probably what's best for him
in terms of the longterm outlook for his shoulder and for his
career."

Paletta said the quality of the tissue indicated that the
rotator cuff tear occurred relatively recently.

"I can't tell you whether that was nine weeks ago or four
months ago or spring training," Paletta said. "But it does not
look like something that's been there chronic for years and years
and years."

The 29-year-old Mulder was placed on the 15-day disabled list
for the second time this season on Aug. 31. He missed two months
earlier in the season due to rotator cuff damage and impingement in
the shoulder, which had caused him to alter his delivery.

Mulder, who can become a free agent after this season, was 6-7
in 17 starts with a 7.14 ERA. He totaled 88 wins the previous five
seasons, tied for most in the major leagues during that span.