Hampton to have surgery Tuesday morning

ATLANTA -- Mike Hampton will have surgery on his left elbow
on Tuesday in New York, leaving the Atlanta Braves without one of
their starting pitchers for the second straight season.

Hampton, who had elbow ligament-replacement surgery performed by
Dr. Dave Altchek on Sept. 26, 2005, will have a torn tendon in the
elbow repaired by Altchek on Tuesday. He is expected to be held out
of pitching activities for at least six months.

Hampton was examined in New York on Monday by Altchek, and the
diagnosis was the latest in a series of medical setbacks for the
left-hander. Hampton was unable to make a start in spring training
after straining muscle in his left side during batting practice.

"I guess the only silver lining is my elbow will get a little
more time to rest," Hampton said in spring training.

Hampton recovered from the oblique injury sooner than expected,
and the team had planned for him to make a series of minor league
rehabilitation starts and join the rotation by early May.

Instead, Hampton felt more pain in the elbow when throwing in
the bullpen Sunday. He met with team doctors Sunday and scheduled
the appointment with Altchek.

The 34-year-old Hampton has failed to meet expectations since
signing a $121 million, eight-year contract with Colorado before
the 2001 season.

Hampton is 53-48 since agreeing to the big contract with
Colorado. He is owed $14.5 million this year and $15 million in

Hampton went 5-3 in 12 starts for the Braves in 2005, struggling
much of the season with a sore elbow. His best season was in 1999,
when he went 22-4 with the Houston Astros.

After Hampton was hurt in spring training, the team signed
another left-hander, Mark Redman, who struggled in Friday's loss to
the New York Mets.

With Hampton lost for the season, Redman, Kyle Davies and Lance
Cormier are the team's top three options for the last two spots in
the rotation behind John Smoltz, Tim Hudson and Chuck James.

Davies gave up two runs and four hits over 6 2/3 innings in a
3-2 win over the Mets.

General manager John Schuerholz decided not comment until after
the operation, spokesman Brad Hainje said.