Surgery would threaten Hampton's 2006 season

By wire services
Published September 16, 2005

PHILADELPHIA - Atlanta Braves left-hander Mike Hampton faces the possibility of Tommy John surgery that probably would sideline him through next season.

Hampton, a former Crystal River standout who has been sidelined since Aug. 20 with a herniated disc, saw Dr. Dave Altchek in New York on Thursday. Altchek confirmed the diagnosis of the Braves medical staff that the source of Hampton's forearm pain is coming from his elbow and that he might require reconstructive surgery.

The operation, which typically requires a year to recover, takes a ligament from another part of the body and uses it to replace the damaged tissue.

Hampton, 33, will meet with the Braves in New York this weekend and make a decision on the surgery. He is 5-3 with a 3.50 ERA this season, making only 12 starts because of four trips to the disabled list.

CUBS: Catcher Michael Barrett, who was hit in the helmet by a pitch from the Reds' Matt Belisle on Wednesday, said a CT scan showed no damage. Barrett, who did not play Thursday against the Cardinals, does not have a concussion but said he was lightheaded and uncoordinated after a sleepless night. His availability will be a game-time decision today.

DODGERS: Outfielder J.D. Drew, out since suffering a broken left wrist when hit by a pitch July 3, will have arthroscopic surgery on his right wrist and right shoulder Tuesday. The former FSU standout said that because the left wrist has not reacted to treatment and he is out for the rest of the season, he'll take care of the other injuries.

NATIONALS: As part of a traditional hazing ritual, rookies put on women's dresses before leaving Shea Stadium after a series against the Mets. ... Reliever Joey Eischen threw a pitch over catcher Gary Bennett's head during an intentional walk.

RANGERS: Rookie pitcher Josh Rupe will make his major-league debut today, starting against Seattle.

TIGERS: Closer Troy Percival will know soon if he can return next season or face that his career is over. Percival, 35, has been sidelined since July 10 because of a muscle tear in his right forearm. The 11-year veteran, who recorded all but eight of his 324 career saves with the Angels before joining Detroit as a free agent last winter, will meet with Angels team physician Dr. Lewis Yocum today. "If I have surgery and I have to sit out next year, I'd be done," the four-time All-Star said.

STEROID HEARING: Commissioner Bud Selig and players union executive director Donald Fehr are among eight sports leaders invited to testify at a U.S. Senate hearing on steroids this month. The Senate Commerce Committee scheduled the hearing for Sept. 28 on whether drug-testing policies of major U.S. professional sports organizations deter the use of performance-enhancing substances. Also invited: NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, NBA commissioner David Stern, NHL commissioner Gary Bettmanand players union heads Gene Upshaw (NFL), Billy Hunter (NBA) and Ted Saskin (NHL). Two proposed bills that would mandate drug-testing standards for major pro sports have been introduced by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Jim Bunning, R-Ky.