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Doctors wait for irritation to disappear

Surgery on the Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's right ankle apparently has been delayed at least a week because of an irritation in the area of the torn tendon sheath that is to be repaired.

According to Wednesday's New York Times, Schilling will be examined Friday and could have surgery early next week. Schilling had wanted to have surgery as soon as possible after the World Series and it had been expected that the operation would be performed this week.

A spokesman for the Red Sox, Glenn Geffner, said that a lotion used during the procedure that enabled Schilling to pitch in the World Series irritated the tissue. The doctors must wait until the inflammation is gone to examine the ankle.

Schilling is expected to need about six weeks of recuperation and another six weeks of rehabilitation, so further delay in the operation could cause the right-hander to miss the beginning of spring training.

Doctors kept a tendon in Schilling's ankle in place during his starts in the ALCS and World Series with sutures after the sheath that holds the tendon in place was torn. Schilling won Game 6 of the ALCS over the Yankees and Game 2 of the World Series over the Cardinals as the Red Sox won their first championship since 1918.