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Rich Harden Update

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[EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is an update from Susan Slusser regarding Rich Harden's health. She recently talked with him and he wanted to give AN this update - Blez]

Hey AN,

Last week, in an Q&A with Blez, I answered a question about Rich Harden's health with a remark about Rich getting bulked up last offseason and how maybe that played a part in some of his problems.

That was unfair to Rich - he believes that old injury to his left shoulder (you'll all recall how it tended to pop out of joint on occasion) was throwing off his mechanics and contributing to some of the problems he had in 2005.

With that in mind, Rich had surgery immediately after the season ended and he has been doing rigorous rehab at home in Canada. With the non-throwing shoulder firmly in place and his mechanics all in order, he should be able to avoid those muscle-strain type injuries. His weight-lifting regimen is also to prevent injury and to stay strong throughout the season.

The shoulder sugery had slipped my mind when I was zipping off those answers, so I'd like to set the record straight and reanswer the question: Yes, I think Rich will be injury-free in 2006 now that the shoulder issue has been resolved. And as I mentioned to the first time around, no one works harder than Rich. He'll probably come into camp in better shape than just about anyone.

- Susan Slusser