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Sunday, August 30, 2009
Hampton to have shoulder, knee surgery

Associated Press

PHOENIX -- Oft-injured lefty Mike Hampton won't pitch again this season and is planning to have surgery on his pitching shoulder and both knees.

Hampton, on the disabled list since Aug. 18 with a partially torn rotator cuff, will have MRI exams results on his shoulder and knees sent to Dr. David Altchek of the New York Mets.

"It's disappointing that he couldn't get to the finish line," Houston general manager Ed Wade said before the Astros played Arizona on Sunday. "We went into this thing knowing that he had a very significant health history, but at the same time he had 10 solid starts for the Braves last year, and we had every reason to hope that he had turned the corners medically."

Hampton is 7-10 with a 5.30 ERA in 21 starts this season, his most since 2004. He missed the 2006 and 2007 seasons after separate elbow surgeries.

A two-time All-Star, Hampton is best known for signing an eight-year, $121 million contract with Colorado after the 2000 season. He is 63-62 since.

"It has been tough for him," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "If anybody can go through this and probably bounce back, it's Hamp."

Hampton, who turns 37 on Sept. 9, will be a free agent after this season. He's said he hopes to pitch again, but Cooper offered another possible option.

"I told him, 'Hey, come back as a pinch-hitter if it doesn't work,' " Cooper said. "He can hit. He can definitely hit, so that might be an alternative."

Hampton is a career .246 hitter with 16 homers.