By C. Trent Rosecrans
Free-agent right-hander Rich Harden will miss all of 2012 after undergoing surgery to repair a torn right shoulder capsule, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
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Harden has been troubled by the injury for the last four years, but finally had surgery last week. The operation was performed by Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla. The injury is the same that cost former teammate Dallas Braden the majority of 2011 and has bothered Johan Santana. Harden told Slusser he was confident he could pitch again in 2013.
"There's no reason, if I work hard, I can't get back to where I was before," Harden told the newspaper.
Harden said the injury occurred on April 15, 2007, when he tried to field a comebacker with his bare hand. Since then, Harden has tried to pitch through the injury by altering his mechanics, but other injuries started popping up.
"If you look at those injuries, that's definitely where they came from," Harden said. "Yes, I've been injured a lot, but nobody really knew what I'd been dealing with for five years."
Harden, 30, started 15 games for the A's last season, going 4-4 with a 5.12 ERA. From 2003-2006, Harden was 30-16 with a 3.67 ERA in 77 games and 72 starts (all with Oakland), striking out 404 batters in 439 innings. After pitching in just seven games in 2007 -- including four games after (but only one start) after suffering his injury against the Yankees -- Harden bounced back with a great year in 2008 with the A's and Cubs, going 10-2 with a 2.07 ERA in 25 starts. In the last three seasons, Harden's gone 18-18 with a 4.79 ERA with the Rangers and A's, but still had 337 strikeouts in 315 2/3 innings.
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