<
>

Yankees pitcher Johnson has successful back surgery

NEW YORK -- New York Yankees pitcher Randy Johnson had surgery
Thursday to repair a herniated disk in his back.

Dr. Michael Watkins operated on the Big Unit in Los Angeles.
Watkins also operated on Johnson's back 10 years ago.

"The surgery went fine. The doctor said he was thrilled," said
Johnson's agent, Barry Meister. "Randy will return home to Phoenix
tomorrow."

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman had not spoken with team
physician Dr. Stuart Hershon following the operation, spokesman Ben
Tuliebitz said. Cashman has said he expects Johnson to be behind
the other pitchers when spring training starts in mid-February.

The 43-year-old Johnson went 17-11 with a 5.00 ERA in 33 starts
this season. He lost Game 3 in the first round of the playoffs
against Detroit, giving up five runs in 5 2/3 innings.