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Justin Thompson, Pitcher for the Texas Rangers

LONG-TERM OUTLOOK

Though Conway did not have medical data on players attempting to come back from two shoulder surgeries, he said the chances of Thompson coming back remain about the same. "Probably, the fact that he's had two surgeries won't affect his ability to come back," Conway said. "After the first surgery, he had about an 80% chance of being the same player he was before the operation. I would imagine it's about the same."

Thompson could be ready for spring training for the 2001 season.

As for the two other pitchers who had two shoulder surgeries:

  • Former Cy Young Award winner Bret Saberhagen underwent his first operation after the 1995 season, while with Colorado. He had more surgery on May 28, 1996, to repair the problem. Saberhagen, who was 31 at the time of the first procedure, didn't return until Aug. 1997, 18 months later. After returning, he compiled a 25-15 record with Boston. He encountered more shoulder problems last year and hasn't pitched in the majors yet this season.
  • Mark Leiter: Between June 1986 and November 1987, Leiter had three shoulder procedures, missing three seasons between 1986 and 1988. Leiter did reach the major leagues and pitched for 10 years with seven clubs, compiling a record of 63-72 and recording 26 saves.

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