Braves' Smoltz to Have Season-Ending Surgery

Michael HicksSenior Analyst IJune 4, 2008

Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz will undergo season-ending surgery on his pitching shoulder.

The loss of Smoltz comes at a bad time for Atlanta, who are three and a half games out of first in the NL East.

"Not having him at all for the rest of the season is devastating, flat out devastating," said Braves third baseman Chipper Jones.

Smoltz came off the DL on Monday against the Florida Marlins. He came into the game in the ninth with a 4-3 lead, but gave up three hits and two runs to blow his first save since 2004. After felling tightness in his shoulder after the game, he decided to shut it down, telling 790 The Zone, "We're only kidding ourselves if we try to mess around any longer."

Smoltz is 41 and this will be his fifth surgery of his Hall of Fame career. He is the only pitcher with 200 wins and 150 saves and he recorded his 3,000th strikeout this season.

Smoltz says he hopes to return in 2009 but coming back from another major operation at his age is very unlikely.

Quotes courtesy of ESPN.com

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