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Giants’ Matheny out for year

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Catcher Mike Matheny has made little progress in his recovery from a concussion and will not play again this season for San Francisco.

After another series of tests and appointments with specialists at the University of Pittsburgh last week, Matheny and the Giants' medical staff made the difficult decision that he should spend the rest of 2006 recovering to reduce the risk of further damage to his brain.

"It's real, and I understand that, and I also understand it's out of my hands," said Matheny, who made the announcement Wednesday after the Giants' 8-3 victory over the Washington Nationals. "I'm at peace with that . . . It's such a weird phenomenon: I look at myself right now and I look as normal as I ever have."

The 35-year-old Matheny, who is on the 60-day disabled list, has been sidelined since May 31 and is still experiencing "fogginess," memory loss, dizzy spells and headaches. He has walked into a room, for example, and not remembered why he did.

A concussion involves the violent shaking of the brain, and Matheny's head sustained multiple traumatic incidents in a short period of time. When that happens, it takes a longer time for someone to recover, according to Dr. Micky Collins of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Sport Medicine Sports Concussion Program.

"We've gotten enough back to know it's the right decision," Matheny said in an in-depth interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday. "These games wear me out. They wear me out on TV. I get foggy."

BOSTON CAPTAIN TO HAVE SURGERY: Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek will have surgery Thursday to repair torn cartilage in his left knee, and he is expected to miss at least a month.

"I talked to them about a limited role. They said, 'Let's get it taken care of. We'd rather have you at 100 percent than 25 percent,' " he said before Wednesday night's game against the Cleveland Indians. "I think the placement of it is what kind of made all of us decide to do it now."

Varitek originally hurt his knee when Angels catcher Mike Napoli slid into him while blocking the plate on Saturday. On Monday, Varitek was rounding second on Coco Crisp's second-inning single when things got worse.

"When I couldn't go around third base — except on a slow crawl — I knew something was wrong," he said.

CARDINALS' MINOR LEAGUERS SUSPENDED: Major League Baseball suspended infielder Marcos Chavez and pitcher Jonathan Gonzalez of the St. Louis Cardinals' organization for 50 games each Wednesday for violating the drug prevention and treatment program. The pair play in the Venezuelan Summer League. Chavez has a .115 average in 52 at-bats, and Gonzalez is 2-2 with a 3.86 ERA in one starts and 15 relief appearances.

ALSO: Major league baseball canceled its quarterly owners meetings scheduled for Aug. 9-10 in Toronto. The decision was made because there were no urgent items to discuss, baseball spokesman Pat Courtney said Wednesday . . . The Minnesota Twins optioned right-hander Boof Bonser to Triple-A Rochester following a rough start Wednesday in a loss to Texas . . . Kris Benson experienced a setback in his effort to rebound from tendinitis in his right elbow, leaving open the possibility the right-hander could be headed for the 15-day disabled list . . . Braves first baseman Adam LaRoche was pulled from Wednesday night's game against Pittsburgh with a strained right hamstring and is listed as day to day . . . Catcher Paul Bako, who missed 21 games with a partially torn right oblique, was activated from the disabled list on Wednesday.