"He's not going to want to do any surgery," Percival said.
"He liked the way the scar tissue looked to be healing. The
strength was coming, so I'm basically in a pattern where I can
start doing some rehab stuff, some strengthening stuff, and then
start throwing in December. Then we'll go from there."
Percival, who turned 36 last month, has been sidelined since
July 10 because of a muscle tear in his elbow. The 11-year veteran
recorded all but eight of his 324 career saves with the Angels
before joining Detroit as a free agent last winter.
"He didn't look at it and say, 'You have to have this cut.'
Then I would have known I was done," the four-time All-Star said.
"I would have been much happier if he would have looked at it and
said, 'That's a miracle. I can't believe it.' But he doesn't know
any more than I'll know in December.
"With scar tissue, you don't know how it's going to heal or
what's going to happen with it," Percival added. "Dr. Yocum told
me, 'Once December comes, you might throw two balls and know you've
got no chance. Or you might go out and throw for three weeks and it
won't bother you.' But it's not something where it's 100 percent
yes, you're going to be there, or 100 percent no."
The Tigers signed Percival to a $12 million, two-year contract
in November. He was 1-2 with a 5.76 ERA in 26 appearances this
season and had three blown saves in 11 opportunities.
"I knew Dr. Yocum would be honest with me, so that was a good
sign," said Percival, who spent his first 10 seasons of pro ball
in the Angels' organization and got the final out in the 2002 World
Series. "All I can do is hope the arm heals up. Now I get to start
lifting weights and doing some rehab, so it's a step in the right
direction. But I'm not going to get too optimistic."