Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Schilling could pitch again; Ortiz a few weeks away
ESPN.com news services
The Boston Red Sox received some promising injury news if they look at the long term.
Pitcher Curt Schilling told WEEI radio in Boston that successful surgery on his shoulder and arm offers him the chance to resume his playing career, possibly next season.
Slugger David Ortiz is closer to returning but nothing is imminent. He tested his injured wrist by taking 25 soft swings off a batting tee on Tuesday, and while he called the session positive, he said he is still weeks away from returning to the Red Sox.
Ortiz has been on the 15-day disabled list with a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist, an injury he sustained May 31 in Baltimore.
"If I want to pitch again I have a chance to, that's the bottom line," Schilling told the radio station.
The results of Monday's surgery were a "best case scenario," Dr. Craig Morgan said after completing the operation in Wilmington, Del.
He repaired a diseased tendon and its groove and an injured labrum, but found no significant rotator cuff damage in the 41-year-old right-hander's shoulder.
Schilling agreed with Morgan's estimate that he could be throwing a ball in four months. Morgan also estimated he could be throwing from a mound within seven months, by late January. Schilling, one of the best postseason pitchers in baseball history, has indicated he could be a "hired gun" who could help a contender in the second half of next season.
Schilling, who had previous shoulder procedures in 1995 and 1999, just has to commit to doing enough rehab to get back.
"I'm trying to assess if I'm going to be able to make the commitment for this to happen," he said, according to WEEI.
He added that "if I come out of rehab and I'm throwing 84 mph, it's over."
Schilling signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the Red Sox in the offseason but didn't pitch. He didn't rule out a return to Boston. In spring training, he went along with the team's desire to rehabilitate the shoulder without surgery even though he wanted an operation. The Red Sox got their way.
"I got a real clear understanding in the last 12 months of what a business this is, for better or worse
teams make decisions that are in their best interests, and if those things don't align with what a player feels, it doesn't matter," he said, according to the radio station.
General manager Theo Epstein said last Friday it was premature to say that Schilling, who was traded to Boston by Arizona after the 2003 season, definitely wouldn't return to the Red Sox next season.
"He made a tremendous impact here," Epstein said then. "He certainly lived up to his end of the bargain and it was a very effective marriage while it lasted."
Schilling said the Red Sox agreed with the decision to operate.
"If I want to pitch again I have a chance to," he told WEEI.
Ortiz said said his batting tee session at Fenway Park was "not a setback." He said he could not even hold a bat when he first got hurt, and is now at least able to swing slowly.
But Ortiz said it will be weeks before he can take full swings with a bat. He anticipates going on a rehab stint before rejoining the Red Sox.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.