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KALISPELL — Columbia Falls native Josh Fields has been assigned to the Great Falls White Sox of the Pioneer League to rehabilitate a shoulder injury.

"I'm fortunate that they let me go back to Montana to rehab," Fields said. "It's the only place in the organization I haven't pitched. I'm very grateful for the opportunity."

Fields suffered a season-ending shoulder injury last year while pitching for the Charlotte Knights, the White Sox's AAA affiliate.

Fields, 26, will begin his sixth season of professional baseball with a monthlong rehabilitation stint with the Great Falls team, a rookie-level team.

He has been in Tucson, Ariz., since his Sept. 2, 2005 surgery, rehabbing at the organization's spring training facility.

Fields is confident he won't have to go up through Class A and AA ball in order to return to Charlotte.

"I've already done all of that," Fields said. "I'm with the (AAA team) now. I ran with them and came close," to going to the Majors.

Fields finished last season with a 4-5 record and a 2.75 earned run average. He pitched 68 2/3 innings in 55 games. He gave up 21 walks and struck out 51 batters.

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