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Dodgers hope closer Kenley Jansen will return by middle of month

September 04, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen delivers a pitch during a game against the Atlanta Braves on Aug. 18. Jansen could be back in the bullpen in two weeks.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen delivers a pitch during a game against the… (Scott Cunningham / Getty…)

This post has been updated. See below for details.

Kenley Jansen hopes to be pitching again by the middle of the month, though surgery awaits his heart condition.

Jansen hasn’t pitched since Aug. 27 in Colorado, when he once again suffered an irregular heartbeat.

After consulting with another heart specialist Tuesday, the Dodgers announced he would remain on blood thinners another 10 days, and hopes to be able to pitch again by Sept. 17, which is an off day.

That would make their closer available for the Dodgers’ final 15 regular-season games. The Dodgers have been using Brandon League and Ronald Belisario in the closer role since Jansen was felled by his condition.

Jansen said he also plans a surgical procedure in the offseason to correct his heart arrhythmia.

Jansen has 25 saves in 31 attempts since taking over the closer’s role from Javy Guerra in May, and has struck out 87 in 56 2/3 innings.

[Updated at 5:49 p.m.: The heart procedure Jansen is considering is called cardiac ablation, which typically inserts a small catheter through a vein and through to the heart, where an electrical charge is used to destroy the problem areas of the heart.

 “If I do the surgery I will be off the medicine, so that would be good for me," Jansen said.

Jansen said he was excited to know he was not going to be shut down for the rest of the season and will be able to return for the stretch drive's final two weeks.

“That’s the good news," Jansen said. "We know where we’re going right now and we keep our hopes up.”

Manager Don Mattingly had tried to prepare himself for anything from learning Jansen would be available Friday to his being out for the rest of the season.

“It’s sort of the middle news of what we were hoping for," Mattingly said. "We were hoping he’d be able to pitch by Friday, but the doctors wanted him to stay on [blood thinners] another 10 days. Then you have to be off so many days, so now it’s the 17th.”

Jansen has continued to throw, but is doing his work before the team arrives. Doctors do not want to take a chance of him getting hit by a ball or bat and hemorrhaging. If they stick to the current schedule, the first time he could pitch would be Sept. 18 to start a three-game series in Washington.

“It will be a perfect time to come back and help the team,” he said.]

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