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Niekro, 55, May Dust Off Knuckler

Phil Niekro, less than three months shy of his 56th birthday, is ready for a major league comeback.

At least one team may be ready for it too. Although Niekro wouldn’t say which one, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wednesday that it is his old team, the Braves.

The former Atlanta knuckleballer would only say Wednesday that he was contacted recently by a National League club to discuss his availability as a potential replacement player.

“There’s a lot of possibilities in life. I’ve never looked at the age factor. They (baseball management) did,” Niekro said. “With a knuckleballer, it’s completely different than in power pitchers. I throw a knuckleball at the same speed I did 20 years ago. It still dances.”

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Niekro retired after the 1987 season with a 318-274 record. He spent 18 of his 22 major league seasons with the Braves.

“I would certainly listen, see what’s available and what the deal is,” Niekro said. “My arm feels better now than it has in 10 years.”


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