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He's Baaaaack.....kinda


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SAN DIEGO Former Marlins first-round draft pick Jeff Allison is at the team's minor league complex at Jupiter and is poised for a return to professional baseball.


Allison, a right-hander out of Peabody, Mass., who the Marlins selected 16th overall in 2003, has been removed from the team's restricted list and placed on Class A Greensboro's temporary inactive list. He likely will resume his professional career with the Gulf Coast League Marlins.


Two seasons ago Allison overcame a heroin addiction and dependence on OxyContin long enough to make 17 starts for Greensboro. The following spring, Allison left minor league camp and has not pitched professionally since.


Initially signed to a $1.85 million bonus, Allison was arrested at Greensboro in October, charged with felony possession of heroin and possession of a stolen vehicle. He failed to appear at a preliminary Dec. 28 hearing.


In a June 4 article, Allison told the Boston Herald legal issues precluded him from commenting on his October arrest. He did say: "I was just in a bad spot. Things weren't going well and it's something I don't look at anymore. It's motivation for me not to go back to that point in my life."


The Eagle-Tribune of Lawrence, Mass. last month reported Allison returned home and was working at Extra Innings, a local baseball training center, giving pitching lessons to kids. That's quite a turnaround for Allison, who 10 months ago was found unconscious after a second heroin overdose.


"When I get the chance to go back down [to Florida], I think they will be surprised at how I look," Allison told The Eagle-Tribune, adding at the time he had been clean for six months. "I have to prove to them daily that I want to stay clean and live a normal life and be in the organization. I'll do everything I have to do and work as hard as I can ? whatever it takes at this point to keep me on the right path."


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