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05/09/09 6:32 PM ET

Sarfate relieved about diagnosis

Right-hander could return to Orioles after All-Star break

BALTIMORE -- Dennis Sarfate met the media on Saturday, one day after an angiogram clarified his season and his career. Sarfate, who had experienced a circulatory problem in his last relief stint, learned through the angiogram that he has a cracked artery in his shoulder and not a life-threatening condition.

Sarfate had originally experienced numbness in his right middle finger last weekend in Toronto, and the Orioles responded to that by immediately placing him on the 15-day disabled list. Sarfate went through a battery of tests before the doctors were able to diagnose his ailment and prescribe a course of treatment.

And now, it appears the right-hander will go a month without throwing a baseball. Sarfate will be able to get back to strengthening exercises within a week and hopes to return right after the All-Star break.

"I'm happy with it, as long as I can come back and help this team," Sarfate said. "I know it's kind of a long way away, but All-Star break or not, at least it's not the whole year and at least it's not life-threatening."

And for Sarfate, that's an enormous relief. The former Astro had heard horror stories about players that had similar conditions, one of whom wound up pitching too long and had a stroke. Sarfate had even begun to contemplate a life without baseball, a fact that should make his return seem even sweeter.

"For a couple of days there, I pretty much thought that I threw my last game," he said. "A lot of things run through your mind. ... You start questioning how healthy you really are, you start watching what you eat. I'm just relieved. I'll start working out in a week, start doing some cardio. In three weeks, I can start throwing. I get ready pretty quick. I'll take it easy and then before the All-Star break, I should be able to make some sort of rehab start."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.