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Rockies skipper not counting out Betancourt

DENVER -- The news fell with a resounding thud in the Rockies clubhouse. Veteran closer Rafael Betancourt had a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, an injury that ended his season and potentially his career.

It wasn't so much concern that the Rockies lack an arm to fill his void, but rather that one of the most respected men in the clubhouse had such heartbreaking news.

"It's tough. He's such a leader on our club, such a great pro," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "You hate to get that type of news for any player, but especially for a guy that's been one of our emotional leaders."

Betancourt said Monday night he plans to try platelet-rich plasma therapy, where blood is removed from the body and enriched to accelerate the healing process in a final attempt at a comeback next year. Betancourt, 38, will not opt for the reconstructive surgery usually required to repair such an injury.

Though the chances are slim the treatment will work, Weiss refuses to doubt Betancourt.

"I told him last night I never doubt him; he's very focused on rehabbing and trying to avoid the surgery and come back and pitch," Weiss said. "If it's possible, he'll do it."

Rex Brothers, already pegged as the closer of the future, will assume closer duties in place of Betancourt. Brothers has 13 saves in 14 chances this year and has been stellar as the late-inning setup man with a team-low 1.46 ERA.

Ian McCue is an associate reporter for
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