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Hafner has shoulder surgery

Hafner recovering from shoulder surgery

CLEVELAND -- No structural or nerve damage was found or repaired during Travis Hafner's right shoulder surgery Tuesday.

Hafner had what the Indians are calling successful arthroscopic surgery on the shoulder. The 45-minute procedure was performed by Dr. James Andrews at St. Vincent Hospital in Birmingham, Ala.

Essentially, the procedure cleaned out Hafner's shoulder joint, removing chronic changes brought about by the grind of baseball. Hafner will begin physical therapy at Progressive Field on Thursday and the Indians expect him to be at 100 percent strength by the start of the 2009 season.

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But Hafner's shoulder has yet to cooperate with any of the Indians' timetables. The club had hoped surgery could be avoided through a layoff from baseball activities and a regular strength and conditioning program.

Pronk was on the disabled list with shoulder weakness from May 30-Sept. 9. At the time he began a rehab assignment in the Minors in mid-August, his shoulder strength was tested and discovered to be at 75 percent. When his end-of-season physical was performed, the strength had dipped to 70 percent. The regression led the Indians to have Hafner visit Andrews for the second time this year, and the decision to have surgery performed was made Monday.

Hafner played in 57 games in '08, batting just .197 with five homers and 24 RBIs.

The Indians are counting on Hafner, who will make $11.5 million next season and $49 million over the next four years, to once again be a formidable contributor to their lineup from the designated hitter spot.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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