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Notebook: Galarraga says he's overcome second bout with cancer

| Wednesday, May 26, 2004

CARACAS, Venezuela -- Andres Galarraga has beaten cancer for a second time and is hoping to get back to the major leagues.

Galarraga said Tuesday that he recently underwent two three-week periods of chemotherapy and was hospitalized for 23 days for additional treatment for the same non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that sidelined him in 1999 when he was with the Atlanta Braves.

"It was very difficult. I had a lot of nausea," he said. "But I always was optimistic. ... Thank God it worked, and I feel better than ever."

He said he was pronounced fit last week after a checkup at a Chicago medical facility.

"The news was excellent," he said.

Beaming and looking healthy at a news conference, the 42-year-old Galarraga said wants to get back to the majors so he can reach 400 home runs. In 18 seasons, Galarraga has 398 homers. The first baseman known as "The Big Cat" hit .301 last season with 12 home runs and 42 RBI for the San Francisco Giants. He also played for Montreal, St. Louis, Colorado, Atlanta and Texas during his career.

"I will play for anyone to get the home runs I need to reach 400," he said.

Prior makes second start

Mark Prior pitched 41/3 innings last night for the Class-A Lansing Lugnuts, allowing one run and two hits against the West Michigan Whitecaps in the Midwest League game.

The Chicago Cubs right-hander, making the second appearance of his rehabilitation assignment, has been sidelined all season because of an inflamed Achilles' tendon and a sore right elbow. He didn't allow a hit in three scoreless innings for Lansing last Thursday.

Mueller out six weeks

Red Sox third baseman Bill Mueller will have arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Friday to help relieve symptoms of an arthritic condition.

The defending AL batting champion is expected to be out for six weeks. The operation will be performed in Phoenix by David Zeman, the same doctor who operated on Mueller's left knee in March 2002.

Yankees go to court

An October trial date was set for two former New York Yankees accused of attacking a Fenway Park groundskeeper after he cheered for the Red Sox in the Yankees bullpen during last year's playoffs.

Roxbury District Court Judge Edward Redd set an Oct. 26 trial date for pitcher Jeff Nelson and outfielder Karim Garcia, who face assault and battery charges in the alleged attack on Paul Williams Jr., of Derry, N.H.

Nelson and Garcia did not appear at the hearing, as required, and were assessed $500 each in court costs, said David Procopio, spokesman for the Suffolk County District Attorney's office. Nelson is currently with the Texas Rangers and Garcia with the New York Mets. Both players' lawyers said the fee was less onerous than the cost of leaving their teams to appear.

Around the league

Texas Rangers outfielders Kevin Mench and Brian Jordan were put on the 15-day disabled list. ... Yankees reliever Steve Karsay is scheduled to pitch in an extended spring training game Saturday, his first such action since rotator cuff surgery a year ago. ... Rangers starter Chan Ho Park is expected to miss his next scheduled start because of a sore lower back. ... The Giants placed first baseman J.T. Snow and second baseman Ray Durham on the 15-day disabled list, depleting their already thin infield.

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