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August 27, 2009

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Left elbow woes end season for Santana

NEW York Mets ace Johan Santana needs surgery for bone chips in his left elbow and will be out for the season.

Following an examination, the Mets said their 30-year-old ace was expected to be ready for spring training next year.

"It's not the worst," Santana said on a conference call. "Believe me, I'm going to be ready."

Santana said he had the same operation after the 2003 season, and came back with a career-high 20 wins and the first of his two Major League Baseball pitcher of the year awards for Minnesota.

The Mets had feared a major injury to Santana, who has four seasons left on his US$137.5 million, six-year contract. Instead, he will have arthroscopic surgery.

Santana said if the Mets had a chance to make the playoffs, he would've tried to keep pitching.

"I didn't want to shut it down," he said. That said, "you don't want to go out there and blow it and make it worse."

Santana went 13-9 with a 3.13 ERA in 25 starts in his second year with the Mets. Strong at the start of the season, his numbers had dropped noticeably since June - he was 7-2 with a 1.77 ERA and averaged nearly 12 strikeouts per nine innings before then, but was 6-7 with a 4.02 ERA and averaged 5 1/2 strikeouts after.

Santana had arthroscopic surgery on a torn cartilage in his left knee last October, after the season ended. He went 16-7 and led the majors with a 2.53 ERA in his first year with the Mets.


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