O's Hairston says surgery unnecessary

Exercises, mental approach have shoulder `ready to go'

November 27, 1999|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Orioles second baseman Jerry Hairston said he's decided not to have arthroscopic surgery to repair a slightly torn labrum in his left shoulder.

Hairston has been rehabbing the shoulder in Houston, and said he'll continue doing the same exercises in Baltimore. Though he doesn't expect to meet with trainer Richie Bancells and club orthopedist Dr. Michael Jacobs until Monday, he proclaimed the shoulder 100 percent last night.

"I've been training really hard," said Hairston, who will challenge Delino DeShields for the starting job next spring. "It's gotten a lot better. I'm a firm believer that the mind is stronger than the body. I've really been concentrating on that area, and you can fix yourself.

"If I need to have [the surgery], I'll have it after the season, but I don't think that'll be necessary. I feel great. I'm ready to go."

Hairston began experiencing discomfort in the shoulder during the season, and it got progressively worse. He lasted only three games with his winter league team in Venezuela before returning home.

"I was really scared, especially after they saw the tear," he said. "But a couple years back, I sliced my patella tendon while I was in high school and was told I'd never play basketball again. I played again. Like I said, the mind's stronger than the body."

Hairston said he doesn't expect Bancells and Jacobs to recommend surgery.

"I left a message on Richie's answering machine saying I wouldn't need surgery," he said. "They didn't really want me to have it. They wanted to test other avenues, hoping that rehabbing it would make it better. And it has."

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