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Astros' Alou Out For 5 Months

Houston Astros outfielder Moises Alou will be sidelined five to six months after undergoing surgery Wednesday to repair his torn left ACL.

The two-hour procedure was performed by Dr. Richard Steadman at the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colorado. Part of Alou's patella tendon was used to repair the damaged ligament, and Steadman also repaired a small meniscus tear in the same knee.

The prognosis was good and recovery time is estimated between five and six months, general manager Gerry Hunsicker said.

Alou, 32, will remain in Colorado until the weekend and should began rehabilitation Friday or Saturday. He will continue his rehab at home in Miami.

Alou injured himself on February 19 during workouts in his native Dominican Republic.

Last season, he helped the Astros to the Central Division crown in his first year with the team and finished third in National League Most Valuable Player voting. He established career highs in nearly every offensive category, including home runs (38), RBI (124), runs (104), hits (182) and doubles (34) while batting .312.

Alou was named to the NL All-Star team for the third time and won his second Silver Slugger Award for being the best offensive player at his position.

The son of Montreal Expos manager Felipe Alou, Moises is in the third year of a five-year contract that will pay him $5 million this season. He was acquired in November 1997 from the Florida Marlins for several minor leaguers.

Alou hit a pair of key three-run homers and batted .321 to lead the Marlins to victory over Cleveland in the 1997 World Series. He has driven in 239 runs over the last two seasons.

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