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Mets closer Wagner set for Tommy John surgery

NEW YORK – New York Mets closer Billy Wagner needs elbow surgery that likely will sideline him through the 2009 season.

The five-time All-Star has been out since Aug. 3, and the Mets said Monday that he has a torn medial collateral ligament in his left elbow and a torn flexor pronator, which is a muscle in the forearm. The 37-year-old left-hander will have surgery later this week.

“The tear is now big enough that the doctors are recommending so-called Tommy John surgery,” Mets general manager Omar Minaya said.

Carpenter could close for Cards

With Chris Carpenter limited to relief duty the rest of the season, the St. Louis Cardinals may be calling on their ace to get the final outs. Whenever he’s available, perhaps once a series, manager Tony La Russa said the 2005 NL Cy Young winner will be his first choice as the closer. The Cardinals have been leaning on 22-year-old rookie Chris Perez.

Other news

Cleveland recalled right-hander Bryan Bullington from Triple-A Buffalo. Bullington, a former No. 1 overall draft pick out of Ball State, will start one game of Saturday’s day/night doubleheader against Kansas City. … The Orioles placed right-hander Jim Johnson on the 15-day DL.