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Duchscherer hopes to be ready by Opening Day

Mar 7, 2010, 9:38 AM EDT

duchscherer.jpgJustin Duchscherer didn’t throw a pitch last season and is making his way back from a complex procedure that burned the nerve endings around his
sacroiliac joint.  And yet, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea, the right-hander is still optimistic about being fully healthy for baseball’s opening week.

“The Duke of Hurl” will throw off a mound for the first time this week.  He’s hoping to lift his pitch count to 75 by the end of spring.

“The way I feel about my ability to compete, if I can throw 75 pitches
in a game here, when it’s time to turn the lights on for the season to
start, I can go 100,” said the righty.

Duchscherer, 32, was 10-8 with a 2.54 ERA and 1.00 WHIP back in 2008, his first full season as a starter.  If he can get back to what worked two years ago, it could be an interesting summer in Oakland.  Same goes for veteran right-hander Ben Sheets.

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