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BASEBALL Injury sidelines Nomar



Published: Fri, April 22, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Cubs shortstop has a ruptured tendon that could require surgery.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE

CHICAGO -- An MRI on Nomar Garciaparra's groin injury Thursday revealed a ruptured tendon that will put him out of action for at least two to three months, if not the rest of the 2005 season.

After missing half of 2004 with Achilles, wrist and groin injuries, Garciaparra was left wondering what he has to do to stay healthy.

"Kind of crazy, huh?" he said, smiling. "It's one of those things. The good thing is, I can still smile. I still have that going for me.

"But it's frustrating, absolutely. I'm just at a loss for words here. I know what I dealt with last year. That was frustrating, but I worked hard to come back. And now this. I'll work hard again."

Considering surgery

Garciaparra will spend the next day or two considering whether to have surgery to reattach the tendon or try to let it heal on its own. Trainer Mark O'Neal said he will have to make a decision within 10 days at the latest.

"If you don't do the surgery and four to six weeks from now you still have problems with it, then you're concerned with 'What do we do now?' O'Neal said. "With the surgery, it's something you want to do within a relatively (short) time because it contracts back like a rubber band."

Either way, the Cubs will be without their starting shortstop for the foreseeable future, potentially diminishing their postseason chances.

"I feel terrible for him," general manager Jim Hendry said. "He has proven that not only did he want to be here, but he really puts a premium on winning. He's a very unselfish guy, as we saw (when he volunteered to drop in the lineup).

"Offensively, I certainly think we were on the verge of something. All we needed for was Nomar to be Nomar and it would be a very well-rounded lineup."

Carried off the field

Garciaparra had to be carried off the field Wednesday after collapsing while running out of the batter's box on a grounder to short. He was in extreme pain and limping Thursday.

"I've had groin pulls before," Garciaparra said. "I didn't know what I did. I knew it didn't feel like the other strains. I tore this tendon off to a pretty good extent. Right now we haven't decided exactly what the treatment is so we don't even know what the timetable is."

Manager Dusty Baker said the Cubs organization is more concerned about Garciaparra's long-term health than the difficulty of replacing him.

"We know the problem, and now we have to come up with the best solution for him, not only this year but in subsequent years," Baker said. "And in life too."




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