Hoffman Has Elbow Surgery

Friday, October 12th 2007, 8:48 pm
By: News On 6

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Trevor Hoffman had arthroscopic surgery to clean out his right elbow and shave a bone spur, but he is expected to be ready for spring training.

The San Diego Padres' closer had the operation Thursday and said he was already out of his sling by Friday afternoon.

``There's no rest for the weary _ my boys are ready to go,'' Hoffman said by phone. ``They need me to drive the car.''

Hoffman, baseball's career saves leader with 524, said the surgery had been planned for some time. He said his elbow didn't affect him even when he blew saves in his last two appearances. The Padres had three chances to clinch the wild card and lost all three games, including a tiebreaker at Colorado in which Hoffman allowed three runs in the 13th inning.

``I can't put the blame anywhere but on myself,'' Hoffman said.

The right-hander said the surgery ``was more maintenance than anything.''

``It was something that really had kind of been discussed by me, the trainers and the doctors the last three to four months,'' he said. ``When you have a little bit of a bone chip in there, you get to the end of the season and see how you're doing. I was throwing fine, but they felt, you know what, this is a good opportunity to go in and clean it out. You have to do a little bit to get a little bit.''

Hoffman expects to be back to normal activities in three to four weeks.

``October is kind of my cross-training month where I'm just doing other things,'' he said. ``I'll get it started in November.''

Hoffman had 42 saves in 49 chances this year. But it will be the two blown saves at the end of the season that fans will remember the most.

Hoffman was one strike from closing out a win at Milwaukee on Sept. 29 that would have clinched the wild card before allowing a tying RBI triple to Tony Gwynn Jr. The Brewers went on to win 4-3 in 11 innings.

The Padres were blown out by the Brewers the following day, forcing them to play a wild-card tiebreaker at Colorado the next night. After Scott Hairston's two-run homer put the Padres ahead 8-6 in the top of the 13th, Colorado came back with three runs against Hoffman in the bottom of the inning.

Hoffman, who turns 40 on Saturday, triggered a $7.5 million option for 2008 in late August by finishing his 90th game over two seasons.

``He'll be ready to go, no problem,'' said manager Bud Black, a former big league pitcher who described Hoffman's ailment as ``sort of a nagging situation that's bothersome more than anything. It comes and goes, the pain, but it doesn't really affect the pitcher over the course of the season.''