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Justin Duchscherer to have left hip surgery, out for season

An update from Detroit:

The A’s announced today that right-hander Justin Duchscherer will undergo season-ending surgery on his left hip. This doesn’t come as a surprise by any means, but Duchscherer had held out hopes of rehabbing and returning to the mound this season. He went to Phoenix to start his program, but A’s assistant GM David Forst said Duchscherer’s hip never responded well in recent days of throwing. Duchscherer threw a 20-pitch simulated game Friday and decided to have the surgery after that.

The A’s re-signed Duchscherer in the offseason to a one-year $1.75 million deal after he missed all of last season because of elbow surgery and a bout with clinical depression. “We went into this contract with Justin knowing there was a possibility injuries could be a factor,” Forst said. “You feel bad. He did such a good job coming back from the elbow. He had a procedure on his back in spring training and that was no longer an issue. You’re hoping he’d get past that stuff. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t avoid the hip.”

Duchscherer’s 2007 and 2008 seasons ended prematurely because of operations on his right hip. He has the same congenital problem in his left hip as in his right — an abnormality at the top of his femur (thigh) bone that eats away at the cartilage in his hip and causes pain when he pitches. There’s no date yet for his surgery, but it will be performed by Nashville-based Dr. Thomas Byrd, who handled the operations on his right hip. The expected recovery time is roughly six months.

Duchscherer said recently he would try to resume his career next season even if he had surgery . But I highly doubt that would be in an A’s uniform. Forst said the team hasn’t considered whether Duchscherer could fit into future plans, but it just seems like the sides will go their separate ways. Duchscherer will be a free agent and, if he fully recovers from this and wants to keep pitching, I would think another team will take a chance on inviting him to spring training. You have to pull for the guy after all the injury and other non-baseball related issues he’s dealt with recently.

In other A’s news, the team will announce a roster move later today to clear a spot for left-hander Brett Anderson, who will be reinstated from the DL and start tonight against Detroit.

Joe Stiglich