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Losing Familia to surgery a big blow to 'pen

WASHINGTON -- Expressing pessimism that Jeurys Familia will pitch for the Mets again this season, manager Terry Collins admitted Wednesday that he expected to lean heavily on the right-hander as this season progressed.

"I really thought by the end of the season, he would be that eighth-inning guy," Collins said of Familia, who underwent surgery Wednesday to remove bone spurs and loose bodies from his pitching elbow. "I told him he's just got to make sure he goes out and works hard, and when the rehab comes, rehab. He's a good worker. I know he'll bounce back. I'm just glad there was no further damage than that."

Familia was earning more and more responsibility in the weeks leading up to his injury, regularly pitching later in games and even earning a rogue save opportunity. But general manager Sandy Alderson estimated Familia's recovery at six to eight weeks plus rehab, meaning he may not be able to pitch until September, if at all.

"I don't think we'll have him this year," Collins said. "But certainly as long as it's not ligaments, as long as just a bone spur, I know that he'll physically come back and be fine. And when he's throwing pain free, I don't know what the timeframe is, but he has the luxury also of being able to pitch in December, pitching down in the Dominican, getting ready for Spring Training to where he'll still come in in shape."

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo.
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