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GRIFFEY JR. WILL BE OUT FOR 1 MONTH

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Surgery to remove a small bone chip in Ken Griffey Jr.'s right hand "went very well," a Seattle Mariners doctor said.

But the All-Star center-fielder is still expected to miss a month of baseball.Team physician Dr. Larry Pedegana, who removed a chipped-off piece of the hamate bone in the heel of Griffey's hand, said Thursday's 40-minute procedure went "as expected."

Because the bone is so small, repairing it is not feasible.

"The procedure went very well and there were no complications," Pedegana said. "Ken's right hand has been placed in a splint and he should be able to begin the rehabilitation process in two weeks."

Pedegana said he expects "a full and complete recovery."

The six-time All-Star is expected to be sidelined for three to five weeks and will probably miss the July 9 All-Star game in Philadelphia.

Griffey injured the hand in Wednesday night's game against Toronto while fouling off a pitch in the third inning.

This is the fourth time that Griffey has been on the disabled list during his Mariners' career. He fractured a finger in his right hand in 1989, sprained his right wrist in 1992 and fractured his left wrist last year and missed 73 games.

"It's sad to see him go again, to have him down again," shortstop Alex Rodriguez said.

Griffey joins the ranks of pitching ace Randy Johnson, last year's AL Cy Young award winner, who is out indefinitely with a bulging disk in his back; third baseman Russ Davis, who is recovering from a broken bone in his left leg; and right-hander Chris Bosio, suffering knee problems.

Griffey was hitting .299 with 23 home runs and 60 RBI in 67 games this season. He leads the team with 10 stolen bases.