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Reds expect Griffey back in '05

CINCINNATI -- All-Star outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. had surgery Monday to repair his torn right hamstring and is expected to return for spring training.

"I am very optimistic for a complete return to normal
activity," Cincinnati Reds' medical director Dr. Timothy Kremchek
said after the two-hour operation.

Griffey, 34, begins four months of rehabilitation Thursday. He will remain in a sling harness from four to six weeks.

This year, he was voted an All-Star starter for the 12th time
but missed the game because he strained his right hamstring in
Milwaukee right before the All-Star game.

Griffey was batting .253 with 20 homers and 60 RBIs. He had
homered just once since hitting No. 500 on June 20.

Kremchek attached Griffey's tendon to the bone with three screws and cleaned up scar tissue.

Kremchek said last week that an MRI exam indicated Griffey had ruptured his hamstring the week before in San Francisco. It was the latest in a long line of injuries for the Reds center fielder.

He missed more than a month with a torn hamstring that bothered him throughout the 2001 season. He then spent two long stints on the 15-day disabled list with a torn knee tendon and a torn right hamstring in 2002.

Griffey went on the disabled list twice again last year for a
dislocated right shoulder and torn ankle tendon.