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Rogers has blood clot removed; likely out until July

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Kenny Rogers is out until at least the
All-Star break, leaving the Detroit Tigers to defend their AL
pennant without one of their top pitchers.

Two days after saying his arm felt tired, Rogers had surgery
Friday to remove a blood clot from his left shoulder and repair
arteries.

"We might have been the only club in baseball with five
established starters," Tigers president Dave Dombrowski said.
"It's an edge we have here and all we did was lose a little of the
edge. We still have a great club with four established starters and
a strong bullpen."

Rogers, a 42-year-old left-hander, was flown to Baylor
University in Texas, where Dr. Greg Pearl performed the surgery.
Rogers is expected to start throwing in six to eight weeks, and
Dombrowski said the earliest Rogers would return to the rotation is
July.

Rogers reported arm fatigue to trainers late Wednesday and
received treatment at a Lakeland hospital. Tigers officials said at
first that he would miss only one start, but the pitcher was put on
the 15-day disabled list Thursday after doctors found an irregular
pulse.

Detroit placed Rogers on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday.
Chad Durbin, who made the team as a reliever, will move into the
Tigers' rotation.

"I have confidence in Chad Durbin, but can anyone replace Kenny
Rogers? No," manager Jim Leyland said.

Rogers is on the DL for the first time since 2001.


"For us, we have to go out without Kenny and just play good baseball," Tigers first baseman Sean Casey said during ESPN's Detroit-Yankees telecast Friday. "We'll get him back at some point and we're wishing him well. But we can't feel sorry for ourselves."


Rogers has gone from a hard-throwing pitcher to a crafty one
during a career that began in 1989 with the Texas Rangers and
included stops with Oakland, Minnesota and both teams in New York.

He went 17-8 with a 3.84 ERA last year during his first season
with the Tigers, then gained notoriety during the postseason when
he had a patch of dirt on his pitching hand. He won all three of
his postseason starts and didn't allow a run in 23 innings.

Rogers was 2-0 with a 2.05 ERA in five exhibition starts. With
Rogers out of the rotation, Nate Robertson will pitch in place of
Rogers on Wednesday in Detroit's second game. Jeremy Bonderman
starts Monday's opener against Toronto. Justin Verlander goes to
third in the rotation, followed by Mike Maroth and Durbin.