Wrist surgery sidelines Blackburn for six weeks


Nick Blackburn

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune file

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Nick Blackburn will have surgery at the Mayo Clinic on Wednesday to repair a ligament in his right wrist and is expected to miss the beginning of the season. It will be the fourth surgery the righthander has had since the end of the 2010 season.

Blackburn, who is due to make $5.5 million from the Twins in 2013 even though he isn't on the 40-man roster, battled pain in the area during the 2011 season and had surgery during the offseason to free an entrapped nerve. But the pain returned during last season, and Blackburn ended up seeing a specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester who diagnosed the problem.

Blackburn will be in a cast for six weeks following the surgery before he can begin rehab. Once he is cleared to throw, he will need several weeks to get his arm in shape.

Blackburn is trying to bounce back from a 2012 season in which he went 4-9 with a 7.39 ERA with the Twins before being sent to the minor leagues and ultimately removed from the Twins roster.

He had bone spurs removed from his elbow following the 2010 season, then had the nerve surgery in 2011. He had a bone chip removed from his elbow following the 2012 season before the latest development.

"It's been a circus the last couple of years,'' he said.

Perkins to World Baseball Classic

Rosters for the 2013 World Baseball Classic are expected to be announced Thursday, and Team USA will include Twins reliever Glen Perkins in addition to catcher Joe Mauer.

Perkins was added last week after he received a call from manager Joe Torre. It's a no-brainer for Team USA to tab the hard-throwing lefty, as Perkins has emerged as the Twins closer.

Twins pitchers and catchers report to Fort Myers, Fla., on Feb. 12, with the first workout scheduled for the next day. The third WBC will begin in March. Japan won the first two titles but is keeping its best players home this time.


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