<
>

Chris Duncan believes sports hernia may have been result of sibling rivalry

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Chris Duncan
believes the sports hernia that ended his season a few weeks early
may have been a result of a heated offseason sibling rivalry in the
weight room.

The 26-year-old Duncan said he and brother Shelley, 27, an
outfielder with the New York Yankees, usually lift weights and work
out together in the offseason. As kids, the sons of Cardinals
pitching coach Dave Duncan constantly battled, and it has carried
over to their professional careers.

"This offseason we tried to work out together, and it got so
bad we started going to the gym at separate times," Chris Duncan
said. "We'd warm up playing basketball and the next thing you know
we were going full on.

"We can't do that, we're going to get hurt."

In the weight room, they're forever trying to top one another.
Now both brothers have a sports hernia. Shelley Duncan, who also
has a bone bruise in his left pelvis, is postponing his operation
until the Yankees' season is over.

The Yankees went into Saturday leading the AL wild card
standings and trailing the Boston Red Sox by 2½ games in the AL
East.
"I'd go and then he would put another plate on, then I would go
and I'd try to slip one on, and the next thing you know we're like
blown out," Chris Duncan said. "We can't work out together, it
gets too competitive."

Duncan underwent surgery on Thursday for what turned out to be a
double hernia. The trouble began with an injured left groin, and he
said after about a week of compensating for that injury the other
side began to bother him.

Operating on both groins increases the rehab time by two weeks
for Chris Duncan, who said he should be fully recovered in 10
weeks. He's restricted to walking for 10 days and then said he can
resume lifting.

Shelley Duncan, a rookie, had six homers and 15 RBIs since his
contract was purchased from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on July
21, but had only limited playing time this month, going 0-for-3
since Sept. 5.

Chris Duncan had 21 homers and 70 RBIs in his first full season,
but was only 1-for-7 with one RBI from Sept. 6 on. Before his
operation he said he'd feel fine after a few days of rest but that
any game action would bring the problems right back.

"He feels like he can still play," Chris Duncan said of
Shelley. "So did I, and I wasn't very effective. Hitting a
baseball is a hard thing to do when you're 100 percent."