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Moyer still aiming for comeback in 2012

Less than four weeks removed from Tommy John surgery, lefthander Jamie Moyer remains optimistic that he will return to the big leagues in 2012, even at age 49.

"A lot of people have seen signs over the course of my career that I should quit or retire," Moyer told the Seattle Times. "In all honesty, I just don't feel like I'm ready to give it up. I feel I'm entitled to make my own decision.

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, which people don't seem to be shy about expressing. I respect and appreciate when it comes from the right people. The baseball people I've talked to before and since the surgery, all have been very positive and very supportive."

Moyer said he hopes to begin rehab in early January once the sling is removed. Recovery time is typically 12 to 18 months. Moyer said the doctors have told him the surgery was "very successful."

"It may be difficult to find a job at the age of 49," Moyer said. "Then again, it may not be. I know where I stand: I'll probably get a spring-training invitation (rather than a guaranteed roster spot), and rightly so. I don't have a problem with that. Throughout my career, I've always had to earn the situation I've been in. I don't expect anyone to give me anything. It's never been that way, so why now?"

Moyer was 9-9 for the Phillies before missing the rest of the season with an elbow injury. He pitched briefly in the Dominican winter league before injuring the elbow again.

Moyer said he likely would head back to the Dominican next winter to get a sense of how he felt.

He said he intends to spend his time away from baseball with his eight children and being more involved in his highly successful charitable foundation.