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05/16/10 2:40 AM ET
Duchscherer scratched in return from DL
Athletics right-hander still bothered by hip inflammation
By Jane Lee / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Justin Duchscherer entered the 2010 season healthy of body and mind. Now, the A's right-hander, who missed all of last season due to elbow surgery and a bout with clinical depression, is finding that said body to be giving out -- again. The 31-year-old Duchscherer, reinstated from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday to start against the Angels, was scratched from the outing with left hip inflammation. Trouble with that hip is what landed him on the DL on May 7, retroactive to April 30. Duchscherer received a cortisone shot on May 5 for the inflammation that surfaced at the beginning of the season and eventually led to the pitcher's early exit in his April 29 start in Toronto. He was initially worried the hip would require surgery, as was the case with his right hip that was operated on twice. Two weeks later, he's worried again. "It's very similar to what I felt in my other hip," said Duchscherer, who first experienced the pain Saturday during a pregame jog. "I'll go see the doctor again and figure out my options." Nashville-based physician Thomas Byrd administered the righty's cortisone shot at the beginning of the month and warned Duchscherer it could potentially mask the pain instead of completely taking it away. The A's veteran, though, is still hopeful of non-surgical options. "If I have to have surgery, I'm done for the year," he said. Manager Bob Geren confirmed on Saturday night that another trip to the DL -- which would mark the seventh of Duchscherer's career -- is "probable." Calling it quits on a career that includes two trips to the All-Star Game isn't as likely, even if an operation is required. "I don't want to do it," he said. "I've obviously done it a few times before, and it's very mentally draining. It's frustrating because I feel like I'm a good pitcher. ... My body is just not cooperating. "But I'm a baseball player. If [surgery] is what I have to do, I'll do it." Still, frustration has become apparent in the pitcher who has missed parts of each of the last four seasons. "Both my pitching coaches have told me I have the best mechanics they've ever seen," he said. "It's just genetic. There's an issue with the size of the head of my femur. It's the same thing in my right hip. I can't really control any of it." Duchscherer was 2-1 with a 2.89 ERA in five starts -- three of which didn't include any earned runs -- for the A's before being placed on the DL at the beginning of the month. In his stead Saturday, rookie reliever Tyson Ross made a spot start and gave up three runs in 3 2/3 innings on three days' rest in an eventual 12-3 loss to the Angels.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.