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Broken leg bone costs Halladay All-Star trip



Published: Sun, July 10, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Terry Francona says the Blue Jays ace would have started Tuesday's game.

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay will miss at least a month because of a broken bone in his left leg, spoiling his shot to start next week's All-Star Game.

Halladay sustained a non-displaced fracture in his lower left leg when he was struck by Kevin Mench's line drive in the third inning of the Blue Jays' 7-6 loss at Texas on Friday night.

The Blue Jays put their ace on the 15-day disabled list Saturday and expect him to be out 4-6 weeks. Halladay, the 2003 AL Cy Young winner, was on the disabled list twice last season because of right shoulder problems.

"Missing the time ... that's the most disappointing for me," Halladay said Saturday. "I just wanted to have a full season and be here with us for the full season."

Leaning on crutches with a boot cast extended to just below his left knee, Halladay said Saturday that he doesn't want to sit out long. He'll return to Toronto during the All-Star break to begin rehabilitation instead of going to Detroit.

"Hopefully after a week, I can start putting pressure on it, walking on it," he said. "After that, from what I hear, it's whatever I can tolerate. Hopefully, I can start playing catch and things in a week. If I can keep that there, it shouldn't be a huge problem. I don't want to miss that much time in throwing and have to have a mini spring training."

AL's ERA leader

Halladay is 12-4 with an AL-leading 2.41 ERA this season. Boston's Terry Francona, who will manage the AL All-Star team, said Saturday that Halladay would have been the starter Tuesday night.

Francona replaced Halladay on the roster with Red Sox right-hander Matt Clement (10-2, 3.85), though the manager didn't say who would start.

The Blue Jays recalled right-hander Brandon League from Syracuse and purchased the contract of right-hander Justin Miller from the Triple-A team. Outfielder Gabe Gross was optioned to Syracuse.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said League and Miller would pitch out of the bullpen, and he hadn't decided how to fill Halladay's spot in the rotation after the All-Star break.

"The one guy you'd hate to lose, it'd be him, even though he's only going out there once every five days," Gibbons said. "You feel every time he goes out there, we have a chance to win. ... You just have to regroup, and somebody else just has to step up and you have to try to hold it together. No question, it's a big loss."

Final play

After getting hit, Halladay picked up the ball and threw out Mench at first base from a seated position. He then rolled to his side grimacing in pain. Toronto led 6-3 when Halladay left the game and went to the hospital.

Despite the loss Friday night and being in fourth place, the Blue Jays went into Saturday night's game just five games behind the AL East-leading Red Sox.

"We'll just keep our fingers crossed and hope that the other guys pick up the slack, and we keep ourselves in this thing," general manager J.P Ricciardi said.

"If it wasn't for [Halladay] and the guys out of the bullpen, we'd be out of it already. You can't hide and quit," catcher Gregg Zaun said. "We owe it to him. You can't push the panic button and say we're done. This is a golden opportunity to show we can do more."




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