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05/05/08 10:50 PM ET

Morse left to cheer for teammates

Shoulder injury much worse than outfielder believed

SEATTLE -- In a season in which Mike Morse appeared ready to break out, he got dealt another kind of break.

Morse injured his left shoulder diving for a ball in an April 13 game and will be off the field for at least four months. He had reconstructive surgery April 22 to his left shoulder joint. Now he's just a clubhouse bystander.

"I had no clue [how bad it was]," said Morse, who walks around now with his left arm in a sling. "When I came inside and took some X-rays, I thought it could be bad, but I still felt it was going to be all right."

Even talking to the media after the game, Morse said, "It feels fine now."

He didn't believe he would be placed on the disabled list.

But an MRI revealed the extent of the damage. The surgery repaired a torn labrum in his dislocated shoulder. The recovery period is 4-6 months.

He has already begun range of motion exercises and hopes to swing a bat within four months.

"The doctor said it will probably be better than it was before," Morse said.

He's hoping for a chance to be sent out on a rehab assignment to the Minor Leagues before the season ends, although that is unlikely. His next action likely will be playing winter ball.

"I think that would help a lot, just get ready for next year," Morse said.

This was supposed to be his year. He hit .492 in Spring Training, a Mariners Cactus League record. He was just starting to get more playing time when he was injured.

Then on April 30, the club released right fielder Brad Wilkerson. Morse would have been in position to be the regular right fielder.

"I try not to think like that. Just moving forward now. It happened. It's all I can do," he said. "My goal now is cheer these guys on, any way I can."

Bob Sherwin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.