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Monday, June 23, 2008

Selling Genes: On Nomar Garciaparra's Recovery Time

Nomar Garciaparra's recovery time is apparently genetically determined, as his body tends to create too much scar tissue:
Dodgers infielder Nomar Garciaparra said a genetic predisposition, one he didn't know he had until it was identified by a Boston physical therapist with whom he voluntarily consulted last week, is the reason his left-calf strain has been so long in healing.

Garciaparra shut down a minor-league rehabilitation assignment after one game when he woke up Wednesday morning with more discomfort.

Garciaparra said the condition causes him to develop more scar tissue at the injury site than the average person, with that tissue limiting his flexibility and increasing the likelihood that he will aggravate the injury by playing on it.

"It would have been nice if I had found out a lot sooner that I had this," said Garciaparra, who likened the problem to trying to pull a rope through a hole when the rope has several knots in it. "That's why I keep straining different muscles."

Garciaparra has been on the disabled list five times in his three seasons with the Dodgers with injuries to twodifferent muscles and two different joints. He said the only way to break up the scar tissue is through painful daily treatments he is receiving involving extreme stretching and bending.

"They give me a towel so I can bite on it," he said.

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This could explain why the third-baseman has been a magnet to the Disabled-List since the 2001 Regular Season. The Dodgers, fortunately, have only one-year left with him on their roster.

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