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Tommy John surgery will end Wolf's season

PHILADELPHIA -- Randy Wolf will have season-ending elbow surgery that could sideline the Philadelphia Phillies' left-hander until next July.

Wolf made the decision to have ligament replacement surgery after it was recommended by three doctors. Dr. Lewis Yocum will perform the procedure in California on July 1.

"All three doctors agreed it's in my best interest, as far as my career, to do this now," Wolf said Thursday. "I talked to a lot of people and got great advice from my teammates."

Phillies starters Jon Lieber and Cory Lidle and reliever Rheal Cormier have had the same surgery, named after former All-Star pitcher Tommy John.

Wolf, an All-Star in 2003, was 6-4 with a 4.39 ERA in 13 starts this season. He was just 5-8 with a 4.17 ERA last season when he missed time with elbow problems.

Yocum first told Wolf that surgery was an option last September, but he elected to rehab and continue to pitch.

"I felt great this year. Things were going well," Wolf said.

Wolf first began experiencing pain in his 12th start against
Arizona. He came out after six innings in his final start against
Milwaukee on June 11.

After surgery, Wolf will begin a grueling rehab program that
usually keeps pitchers out of action for at least one full year.

"You have to be conservative and look at the big picture,"
Wolf said of his return. "The best-case scenario is mid-July,
early August."

Wolf is in the third year of a $22.5 million, four-year contract
he signed in Dec. 2002. He'll make $9 million next year.

Rookie Robinson Tejeda has replaced Wolf in the rotation, leaving the Phillies without a left-handed starter. The Phillies are trying to get another starter before next month's trade
deadline.