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Hernandez has bursitis, Valentin a partially torn ACL

NEW YORK -- The New York Mets got a double dose of bad
medical news Monday: Starting pitcher Orlando Hernandez has
bursitis in his right shoulder and second baseman Jose Valentin has a partially torn knee ligament.

Both were put on the 15-day disabled list. Hernandez, who had
been scheduled to start Monday night against Florida, was replaced
by Chan Ho Park, who was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans. The
Mets also purchased infielder Ruben Gotay's contract from the
Zephyrs.

"We're not concerned. Anytime you lose a couple of your guys,
you've got to just sort of regroup," manager Willie Randolph said.
"I'm not panicking. We've got some depth."

El Duque, 2-1 with a 2.53 ERA in five starts, told the Mets on
Sunday in Washington that he felt pain in his shoulder. He was sent
to New York to see a doctor and received a cortisone shot.

"I'm feeling the same as yesterday," Hernandez said Monday.
"A little pain, a little sore."

The roster move on Hernandez was made retroactive to April 25.
The Mets expect him to miss two starts, then return to the mound
when he's eligible to come off the DL on May 11 against Milwaukee.

Valentin could be out much longer. He and the Mets said he'll be
sidelined two to four weeks, but the 37-year-old second baseman
isn't scheduled to report to Port St. Lucie, Fla., to begin his
rehabilitation for at least a couple of weeks, so it seems likely
he'll be gone even longer.

"I'm going to take my time -- whatever it takes," Valentin
said. "When I come back I've got to make sure that I don't think
about it, that I'm not scared."

Valentin was placed on the DL retroactive to Sunday. He decided
to forgo surgery until after the season, but will need to wear a
brace on his right knee when he returns. That could hinder his
agility, and he acknowledged that his knee probably won't be 100
percent when he comes back.

"He'll have to adjust to that. We'll definitely look at him
closely. We're here to win ballgames. We're not going to just throw
him out there and roll the dice," Randolph said. "We'll be very
cautious with him and make sure he's ready to go when he gets
back."

Damion Easley started at second base for the Mets on Monday
night. He and Gotay will fill in for Valentin, who was batting .279
with two homers and 13 RBIs.

Valentin injured his right knee during Saturday's game at
Washington and had hoped the injury wasn't significant. Tests
revealed the partial tear of his anterior cruciate ligament.

A similar injury to the same knee sidelined Valentin for about
three months in 2005 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but he said it's
not as bad this time.

"I've been through a lot of hard times in my career. It won't
stop me," he said.

Valentin has a $4.3 million team option for next season that
would become guaranteed if he reaches 400 plate appearances this
year, one reason he didn't want to have surgery now.

"I can't afford to do that because I've got a lot of things
planned for next year," he said, adding that he'd like to have the
operation one day after a World Series parade for the Mets.

Park was 3-1 with a 7.29 ERA in four starts with the Zephyrs,
allowing 26 hits in 21 innings -- including six homers. Jorge Sosa
is 4-0 with a 1.13 ERA at New Orleans, but he just pitched on
Sunday so the Mets decided to call up Park, who was on his regular
turn Monday.

"He's experienced, he's got good stuff and he's been there,"
Randolph said. "I thought he threw the ball pretty well in spring
training even though he was erratic at times -- but that was spring
training."

Park lasted only four innings against the Marlins, allowing
seven runs and six hits. He gave up homers to Alfredo Amezaga and
Hanley Ramirez.

Gotay, acquired from Kansas City last July, was batting .256
with seven doubles, two homers and 13 RBIs in 82 at-bats with New
Orleans.