Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Halladay to have surgery on shoulder; hopeful for 2013 return

By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
@Philabaseball

Roy Halladay believes he will pitch again this season, but not before undergoing surgery to repair his right shoulder.

The 35-year-old said Wednesday that he has a partial tear of the rotator cuff in his right pitching shoulder and his labrum is partially frayed due to rubbing against a bone spur. He will undergo arthroscopic surgery later this month.

Halladay said doctors have told him the surgery may "turn back the clock two or three years" on his pitching shoulder.

"They aren't going in and trying to reattach the rotator cuff, which would be a year and a half and really, very low success rate of pitching again," Halladay said. "The fact that it's a scope, a cleanup, to me is a lot better than going in and having to reattach a full surgery. It's a lot better option, obviously it's a lot quicker, and at my age I think it's the best thing for me."

Halladay said he was unaware of the bone spur, though he did have an MRI on the shoulder last year prior to a seven-week stint on the disabled list.

"There's just no crystal ball," Halladay said. "Now I feel like I have something to grasp onto and something to move forward with. I don't feel as lost as before. I feel like there are some answers there. I feel like there are some things that we see that can be done. I'm optimistic that we'll get it fixed and I'll be able to come back and pitch."

Halladay, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, was examined in Los Angeles on Monday. He said pitchers that have underwent similar surgeries returned to the mound within three months, but he also cautioned no two cases are ever the same.

"In certain cases it's been three months, but we really don't have a timetable," Halladay said. "I think the timetable is going to come once they go in and confirm hey, what we saw on the x rays is exactly what we saw when we went in there. They were definitely optimistic that I would be back this year. But of course we're going to be as smart as we can and do the best we can throughout the whole process. But I really think the timetable is going to be based on when they go in, does it look how they think it does." 

Hallday, making $20 million this year, is eligible for free agency following this season. He has a vesting option for 2014, but he will not reach the innings pitched requirement for the contract to become guaranteed.

"Obviously I don't want to miss time but I think as far as scenarios go, I feel like it's a lot better than some of the things I anticipated," Halladay said.

- Patrick Gordon is the Managing Editor of the Philadelphia Baseball Review.  Follow him on Twitter @Philabaseball or contact him at pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com.

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