SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano isn't expected to play at all in the 2007 major league season after undergoing surgery on his left elbow last November.
"I won't start to throw until two months from now and I'll do my first bullpen work six months later," he told the Associated Press.
In his rookie season last year, the 23-year-old Liriano went 12-3 with a 2.16 ERA before pain in his elbow and shoulder knocked him out of the lineup. In November, doctors transplanted an elbow ligament in a procedure known as Tommy John surgery.
The Dominican native hopes to make his first appearance on the mound in October with the Escogido Lions, a winter league team in Santo Domingo.
Liriano said he started five times while feeling pain, which could have aggravated the injury.
"I decided to tough it out, even though now I know I shouldn't have," Liriano said.
Competing against Roger Clemens, a childhood idol, was one the highlights last season for Liriano.
"That was one of the most emotional games, especially because I was able to win thanks to God," he said.
The Associated Press News Service