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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | People Search | Personals | Travel | Yellow Pages  January 19, 2005
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Dr. Morgan to leave Red Sox
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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Boston Red Sox are replacing team physician Bill Morgan, who helped stitch together a World Series title by suturing Curt Schilling�s ankle and allowing him to stay in the postseason rotation.

�I�m obviously very, very sorry to see him leave,� Schilling told The Associated Press in a telephone interview on Monday. �I don�t think we would have won the World Series had he not been there.�

Schilling said he will continue to consult with Morgan, who could not immediately be reached for comment. The Red Sox declined to comment on Morgan�s departure, but Schilling said he was told the team wanted to affiliate with a team of specialists rather than one all-purpose doctor.

�This is Mr. Henry�s team,� Schilling said of principal owner John Henry. �He�s after the best medical providers in the world.�

Boston earned a wild-card berth into the AL playoffs thanks to Schilling�s pitching, but he hurt his right ankle near the end of the regular season and struggled in Game 1 of the AL championship series against the New York Yankees. Unable to push off the mound, he allowed six runs in three innings�his worst postseason performance since 1993.

The Yankees went on to take a 3-0 series lead and Schilling�s season appeared over when the Red Sox scratched him from his scheduled Game 5 start and said he needed surgery that would end his season. But Morgan, after testing the unprecedented procedure on a cadaver, made a wall of stitches in Schilling�s ankle to keep the tendon in place and he was able to start Game 6.

With blood seeping through his sock, Schilling beat the Yankees, catapulting the Red Sox to an improbable comeback.

Morgan and Schilling repeated the feat in Game 2 of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, and Boston won to take a 2-0 lead in the Series. But Morgan revealed before the game that Schilling�s ankle had reached its limit and the procedure probably could not be repeated�information the Red Sox would have preferred he not share.

It became moot when Boston swept St. Louis in four games to win its first World Series title since 1918. Schilling had surgery to repair the ankle after the victory parade and has been resting the ankle.

He said Monday he had a cast changed last week and needs to keep the ankle immobilized for 4-5 more weeks. He is expected to be ready for the start of spring training.

Morgan also found himself in trouble last winter when he was arrested on drunken driving charges after police said his car was swerving on a highway and they found a nearly empty glass of wine in the front seat. He was ordered to undergo alcohol counseling.  The case was continued for one year and was scheduled to be dismissed on Tuesday.

Morgan is affiliated with Caritas St. Elizabeth�s Medical Center, but Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is the official hospital of the Red Sox.



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