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Daily Madden: Sports Medicine Pioneer Of ‘Tommy John’ Surgery Dies

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Tommy John #25 of the New York Yankees pitches during a 1987 season game against the White Sox at Comiskey Park in Chicago Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Tommy John #25 of the New York Yankees pitches during a 1987 season game against the White Sox at Comiskey Park in Chicago Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

JohnMadden01-228 John Madden
John Madden began his pro football coaching career in 1967 as t...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Dr. Frank Jobe, whose Tommy John surgery has saved the careers of numerous athletes, died in Santa Monica Thursday at age 88.

“And [he saved] the careers for a long time, too.” John Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew. “Didn’t Tommy John pitch like 14 years after that? That’s the thing, that they did the surgery and it saved the career, but it saved it for a long time. And Dr. Jobe did a lot more for sports than just the Tommy John surgery. They started a clinic years and years ago for athletic injuries… It was (for) all sports and all athletes, and doing surgery to get players back where they could play again and play at a high level, which is what they did.”

Madden’s career as an NFL player ended with a severe knee injury in the Eagles’ rookie training camp.

“Every ligament that was in there was torn some way or another,” John said. “Now it would be a year rehab, but you’d be able to play again. In those days, you know, they’d just kind of sew it up so you’d be able to walk again.” (6:40)

Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.

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