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Washington Nationals reliever Joey Eischen will undergo surgery today to repair a tear in his left rotator cuff, a procedure that will end his season and possibly jeopardize his career.
An MRI taken yesterday in the District revealed Eischen has "a thickness tear of one of his left rotator cuff muscles," according to the club. He was immediately placed on the 60-day disabled list, and the Nationals plan to purchase the contract of left-hander Bill Bray from Class AAA New Orleans in time for tomorrow's game in Milwaukee.
Eischen, 36, faces a lengthy rehabilitation from his surgery, perhaps a year or longer. Given his advanced age and history of other arm problems, there's a chance he might never return.
"At this stage of his career, you don't know if this could be the end of it," manager Frank Robinson said. "This is a real serious one. This operation, it takes a while to come back from it."
Eischen, speaking by phone from Washington, vowed to be back on the mound by spring training.
"It's going to happen," he said. "They say 12 months. I never, ever don't beat those deadlines. I work harder than the other guys. I've always healed good. I'll do the work I need to do."

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