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Published March 21, 2010, 01:24 PM

Elbow injury sidelines Nathan for season

Twins closer to have surgery on torn ligament

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Minnesota Twins closer Joe Nathan will miss the 2010 season because of an elbow injury that will require surgery.

Nathan, who leads the major leagues with 246 saves since 2004, made the decision after playing catch with Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson for 10 minutes on Sunday.

Nathan hopes to have surgery to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow within two weeks. He was injured on March 6 during a 20-pitch outing in a spring training game against the Boston Red Sox.

Nathan said his goal would be to return at the start of the 2011 season.

The 35-year-old right-hander went 2-2 with a 2.10 ERA and a career-best 47 saves last season.