Good luck, Brandon

BACKE TO UNDERGO TOMMY JOHN SURGERY

Right-hander to have ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction on right elbow

HOUSTON, TX ? The Houston Astros announced today that right-handed pitcher Brandon Backe will undergo surgery on Thursday, September 7 to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.  The procedure, also referred to as ?Tommy John? surgery, will be performed in Birmingham, Ala., by Dr. James Andrews and assisted by Astros Team Medical Director Dr. David Lintner.  The announcement was made by General Manager Tim Purpura.

The expected recovery time from the surgery is 12-18 months.

Backe, 28, is 3-2 with a 3.77 ERA (18ER/43IP) in eight starts for the Astros in 2006.  He was originally placed on the 15-day Disabled List on April 14 with a sprained right elbow.  Backe was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 6 and activated on July 22.  He made six starts after rejoining the active roster before being placed on the 15-day DL again on August 19 with a sprained right elbow.

In 104 career big league games, including 42 starts, Backe is 19-14 with a 4.71 ERA (166ER/317IP), with one complete game.  In seven career playoff outings (six starts), he is 1-0 with a 2.95 ERA (12ER/36.2IP).  Backe allowed one hit in eight shutout innings in the 2004 NLCS Game 5 win over St. Louis.  In Game 4 of the 2005 World Series, he pitched seven shutout innings against the Chicago White Sox.

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