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August 01, 2012

Feliz doesn't blame transition to Rangers' rotation for injury

Right-hander Neftali Feliz isn’t blaming his transition from closer to starter as the reason he suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament and needed Tommy John surgery.

He underwent the replacement operation Wednesday morning, but showed up in the Rangers’ clubhouse in the afternoon looking like someone who had just had his ulnar collateral ligament replaced.

His right arm was in a sling, and his right leg was wrapped down to the ankle to protect the incision where Dr. Keith Meister took the new ligament.

Feliz understands that his road to recovery is a long one, but he’s ready to put in the work.

“The doctor told me it was something that was there already a little bit,” Feliz said. “It had nothing to do with whether I threw as a starter or a closer.

“It makes you feel bad, but there’s nothing you can do about it. It has to be what it has to be. I just have to follow my rehab and try to get ready in the best way.”

Feliz said that he has spoken with Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia, a fellow Dominican, about the recovery process. Mejia had Tommy John surgery in May 2011 and is at Triple A Buffalo.

A pitcher’s velocity can increase after the surgery, something Feliz had heard.

“I’m going to work hard and do my best, and if I throw 110, that’s good,” Feliz said.

-- Jeff Wilson

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