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ANGEL REPORT

Percival Can Resume Pitching

May 31, 2003|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Closer Troy Percival said Friday that doctors have cleared him to resume pitching, telling him surgery to repair his injured hip is not necessary at this time.

After Percival felt his right hip pop from its socket twice last week, doctors diagnosed degenerative changes in the hip, and the Angels sent his MRI results to specialists for consultation.

So long as he continues intensive therapy to strengthen the area around the joint and rehabilitate the surrounding ligaments he stretched, Percival said he was told he could try to return before considering surgery.

"If it continues to persist, they'll have to go in and take a look at it," he said. "But, if you cut now, you're out for the season. If I can keep it strong, I may not have to have it done."

He hopes to throw off a mound today. The Angels can't activate him from the disabled list until June 7.

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Even with Darin Erstad scheduled to come off the disabled list and reclaim his center field job June 9, Jeff DaVanon has secured a spot on the roster.

In Erstad's absence, DaVanon is hitting .329. The Angels have long considered him an ideal reserve, because he can steal a base, switch-hit and play all three outfield positions, but he has not prospered in that role.

"It's tough to say how much playing time he's going to get when Erstad comes back," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "But, with the confidence he has now, I'm sure he'll be better prepared."

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Umpire Charlie Reliford said he ejected Brad Fullmer from Thursday's game under a rule in which players are fined for throwing equipment in objecting to a call and ejected if the umpire judges such actions as flagrant. After Reliford called Fullmer out at home plate, Fullmer slammed his helmet to the ground, resulting in the first ejection of Fullmer's career.

Reliford confirmed that Fullmer said nothing, naughty or otherwise, preceding the ejection, although he shouted expletives afterward and had to be restrained by Scioscia. Reliford declined to address the issue of a possible suspension, but the Angels are confident that Fullmer did nothing to warrant one.

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