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Garcia hoping for late-July return

Garcia hoping for late-July return

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CHICAGO -- Freddy Garcia has become a recent hot topic of conversation as he continues to work his way back from surgery on his right labrum that cost him most of last season with the Phillies and all of this season, to date.

Newsday quoted Peter Greenberg, Garcia's agent, in a Wednesday article concerning the desire to showcase the right-hander for interested teams by the end of July, if possible.

But White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, a close friend of Garcia, who spent time with him in Florida during the All-Star break, believes Garcia might be hard-pressed even for a Sept. return as a late addition to a playoff contender.

"I doubt it. I hope he is. He's my friend," Guillen said. "But when I see him and where he's at right now, I don't see that happening. I don't think by August, maybe September. Freddy hasn't even thrown off the mound yet.

"He's throwing flat and he's throwing good and he said his velocity is coming around. Everything is fine, but people think because you play catch, you are pitching. That's not the same. You don't have people on the mound or hitting. I hope he do it, but it's going to be a little bit difficult for him to do it."

Guillen added how he hopes Garcia doesn't rush himself back.

Garcia has a career 117-76 record and played an integral role during the White Sox World Series run in 2005. He was traded to the Phillies for Gavin Floyd and Gio Gonzalez prior to the 2007 season but finished with a 1-5 record and 5.90 ERA last year for Philadelphia before being shut down. Garcia has been known as a big-game pitcher, with a 6-2 career record in nine postseason starts.

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

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