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Allison was club's top pick in 2003 draft

11/20/2004 - Florida Marlins

PEABODY, Mass. -- Florida Marlins pitching prospect
Jeff Allison has recovered from a near-fatal heroin overdose this summer
and plans to report to spring training in late February.

"I talked with the club a month ago and they said I'm welcome
(back)," Allison told The Salem News. "I definitely intend to be
there."

A Marlins spokesman declined comment.

Allison, Florida's top choice in the 2003 draft, hasn't pitched
since he left spring training in May without permission. Shortly
afterward, Allison said he had a "problem" with OxyContin and
that he'd been fined $200,000 by the Marlins for failing a drug
test for marijuana, prompting him to leave camp.

On July 17, he nearly died of a heroin overdose and had to spend
a weekend in a hospital in Lynn.

Allison wouldn't comment on his drug use or whether he's
undergone treatment.

"It was kind of a bad dream, something I don't want to talk
about or even think about," he said.

The 20-year-old Allison is scheduled to be evaluated soon by
Marlins' team physician Jeff Fishbein, who must give him clearance
to return.