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Astros' Caminiti Hurt In Fall

Houston Astros third baseman Ken Caminiti, who missed 79 games this season with a calf problem, sustained three fractures in his lower back after falling from a deer blind during a South Texas hunting trip.

The accident happened early Wednesday near Laredo. Caminiti was expected to remain at Methodist Hospital in Houston through Friday, then spend the next eight weeks recuperating.

The Astros used the disabled list 16 times during the season. The barrage began before spring training when outfielder Moises Alou sustained a season-ending knee injury after reportedly falling off a treadmill.

First baseman Jeff Bagwell and second baseman Craig Biggio were the only regular position players who missed no time because of injuries in 1999.

Also on Thursday, team doctors said surgery successfully tightened ligaments in the throwing shoulder of right-handed starter Scott Elarton.

Both Caminiti and Elarton are expected to be ready for spring training.

©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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