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Bonderman season in jeopardy; blood clot may lead to losing rib

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Jeremy-Bonderman-Edgar-Renteria

Jeremy Bonderman's jersey hangs in the dugout as shortstop Edgar Renteria takes the field. Renteria later hit a grand slam.

Duane Burleson / AP Enlarge

DETROIT - Tigers pitcher Jeremy Bonderman underwent two procedures to relieve a blood clot on the right side of his body and will likely miss the remainder of the season.

Kevin Rand, the Tigers' head trainer, said Bonderman was taken to the Detroit Medical Center Friday after complaining of "heaviness" in his right arm and swelling around his armpit. Doctors performed a thromblysis Friday night and an angioplasty yesterday to dissolve the clot, found near Bonderman's right shoulder, under his first rib.

Rand said the clot was in Bonderman's axillary vein, which takes blood from the arm back to the heart. He said Bonderman's rib was likely pinching the vein, causing the clot.

If further tests confirm that diagnosis, Bonderman could have season-ending surgery to remove that rib.

"I know I'm done for a while," said Bonderman, who arrived at Comerica Park in the seventh inning yesterday and spoke to reporters after the game.

"I know it's something I can come back from."

Even though Bonderman was well enough to come to the park, the news of his condition and prognosis for this season was another blow to the floundering Tigers in a year when nothing has gone their way.

Hampered by injuries and maddeningly inconsistent

offense, Detroit is 11 games under .500 and well back in the American League Central.

Now this.

"It's sad. We've been fighting through a lot of tough stuff. It's like one thing after another," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "This is another one that you've got to fight through, and you find out how tough you are."

Fellow pitcher Justin Verlander, who called Bonderman his "best friend on the team," said: "First of all, I'm glad they caught it. Those things can be pretty dangerous."

Nate Robertson, another Detroit pitcher, said he talked to Bonderman Friday night, and "considering the situation, he was doing pretty good."

Bonderman, 25, was placed on the disabled list yesterday. Armando Galarraga will take Bonderman's spot in the rotation and pitch today against the Cleveland Indians.

Tigers pitcher Kenny Rogers said Bonderman was lucky.

Rogers underwent shoulder surgery to remove a blood clot on March 30, 2007, and didn't pitch for Detroit until June 22 last year.

"I'm happy for him," Rogers said. "He found out what it was before anything really bad happened. It's not something you want to mess with."

TRIBE INJURIES: Less than one hour after the Tigers revealed Bonderman's condition, the Indians announced pitcher Jake Westbrook will undergo season-ending elbow surgery.

Westbrook was examined in Los Angeles Friday by Dr. Lewis Yocum, who will perform the surgery to reconstruct the pitcher's elbow - necessary because of a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Indians trainer Lonnie Soloff said yesterday the surgery will take place in the next seven to 14 days, and Westbrook is expected to be pitching in the big leagues again in 10 to 14 months following surgery.

Westbrook, 1-2 with a 3.12 ERA, was on the DL earlier this year because of a left intercostal muscle strain. He pitched in his first game back from that injury May 28, and afterward felt discomfort in his elbow.

Soloff said the injury was likely caused from wear and tear on the elbow, rather than by a single pitch.

"We all had a pretty good idea it was something bad," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.

Soloff said that Indians starting pitcher Fausto Carmona (left hip strain) will throw off flat ground today from 105 feet and will have a 35-pitch bullpen session next week. Designated hitter Travis Hafner (right shoulder strain) took dry swings at Cleveland's Progressive Field yesterday and will be re-examined Tuesday.

COMING TO TOLEDO: Joel Zumaya (right shoulder surgery) will continue his rehab assignment with the Mud Hens, rather than at Single-A Lakeland.

Zumaya was packing his things in Florida yesterday and is expected to pitch an inning for Toledo tonight against Columbus, as is fellow injured reliever Fernando Rodney.

Leyland said he will be at Toledo's Fifth Third Field tonight to watch those two missing pieces of his bullpen perform.

Leyland said Zumaya's promotion from Lakeland does not mean he'll be ready to rejoin the Tigers before their current 10-game homestand ends June 15. He also said Rodney (right shoulder tendinitis) is healthy and will return to Detroit once he shows command of his pitches.

Rodney walked two and hit a batter in one-third of an inning for the Hens Friday night in Louisville.

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