Rockies' Francis Will Miss '09 Season

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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Colorado Rockies left-hander Jeff Francis says he will have exploratory surgery on his pitching shoulder next week and will likely miss the 2009 season.

Francis said Thursday he will return to Denver for the operation, but said he's "not counting on coming back" to spring training in Tucson.

The 28-year-old Francis has had pain in his throwing shoulder since May, but he reported feeling less discomfort during spring training. MRIs haven't shown a clear-cut problem.

He was 4-10 with a 5.01 ERA last season.

Francis was a vital part of the Rockies' run to the World Series in 2007. He spent a stint on the disabled list during the 2008 season before being shut down early in September.

(Copyright 2009 By The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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