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Toe Problem Sidelines Sosa

May 11, 2003|From Associated Press

CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs put Sammy Sosa on the 15-day disabled list Saturday after having the toenail removed from his big right toe.

"I can promise you he was in a lot of agony," Cub General Manager Jim Hendry said after the Cubs defeated the St. Louis Cardinals, 3-2, in 10 innings without Sosa.

Hendry said Sosa's big toe on his right foot was nearly twice the size of the one on his left foot.

"It was really affecting the way he was swinging the bat. The last possible option for him was to take time off. It got to the point where he could not perform at the level he usually does," Hendry said.

Sosa, batting .303 with six home runs, had been plagued by chronic irritation of the toenail for the last month and it did not respond to treatment. He had the toenail removed in a procedure at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

"I've been bothered by the toe for the last month and it just wasn't getting any better," Sosa said in a statement released by the Cubs during the game. "I feel relieved the nail is off and it can finally heal," he said.

Rain washed out batting practice Saturday, but Sosa, with umbrella in hand, went to the batting cage under the right-field bleachers.

A short time later, Cub Manager Dusty Baker said Sosa was a late scratch from the lineup. In the seventh inning, the team announced he was headed to the disabled list.

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