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Mets' Hernandez to return by spring training after surgery

NEW YORK -- Orlando Hernandez had surgery on his right foot
Friday, and the New York Mets' pitcher is expected to be ready for
spring training.

El Duque had a bunion removed from his second toe. An ailing
foot interrupted his season, and the Mets collapsed down the
stretch without Hernandez in the rotation.

New York dropped 12 of its final 17 games and blew a seven-game
cushion in the NL East, missing the playoffs after one of the
biggest meltdowns in baseball history.

Hernandez was 9-5 with a 3.72 ERA this year. He made 24 starts
and three relief appearances, pitching 147 2-3 innings.

The 42-year-old right-hander is entering the second season of a
$12 million, two-year contract.

The operation was performed by Dr. William Hamilton in New York.