SAN FRANCISCO -- Russ Ortiz has a torn tendon in his
throwing elbow that likely will sideline San Francisco's
right-hander for the remainder of the season.
Ortiz was placed on the disabled list Tuesday for the third time
this year and had already missed 73 games because of injuries to
his pitching arm before his latest setback. He was scheduled to be
examined by team orthopedist Ken Akizuki later Tuesday and possibly
another doctor before deciding whether to undergo surgery to repair
what athletic trainer Dave Groeschner described as a "significant
tear" on the inside of his elbow.
Ortiz left his start Monday at Florida in the fifth inning
because of a strained elbow. He had an MRI exam and X-rays Tuesday.
"I don't want to rule him out just yet," Groeschner said.
"I'm always concerned when a pitcher has an elbow injury."
Groeschner said there hasn't been any evidence that the
33-year-old Ortiz is doing something mechanically that has made him
more prone to arm injuries, which he hadn't dealt with before in
his 10-year big league career.
"He's pitched a long time," Groeschner said. "These things
happen to guys who pitch. He's in his 30s."
Ortiz returned to the Giants for a second stint this season,
beginning the year as the club's fifth starter after working hard
during winter ball to remake himself after a bad year with Arizona
and Baltimore. He had last pitched for San Francisco in the 2002
World Series, when the Giants lost in seven games to the Angels.
He isn't ready to guess what his situation will be in 2008. For
now, he is focused on getting fully healthy again -- however long
that might take.
Ortiz was on the disabled list from May 2-20 because of a nerve
problem in his elbow, then again from June 7 to Aug. 9 due to a
right forearm strain.
"Every issue I've had has been different," he said. "I
thought I was on my way. I felt good after the Atlanta start coming
into this [last] start. Yesterday I went out for the fifth and I
could barely break a pane of glass."
In addition, right-handed reliever Randy Messenger was scheduled
for surgery Wednesday on his broken left hand. He will have a screw
inserted near the base of his thumb. The pitcher said he would have
needed a full-arm cast had he not opted for surgery.
Messenger, who underwent an MRI and CT scan Tuesday, should be
able to recover more quickly after the procedure, perhaps resuming
throwing after about a week of rest.
"We don't want to rush him back," Groeschner said.