Surgery to end Jon Garland's season
LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Jon Garland, who already faced a high likelihood of being done for the season, will undergo season-ending surgery next week to clean out debris in his shoulder.
If team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache finds anything more serious, that also will be repaired at that time.
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Stan Conte, the Dodgers medical-services director, hedged slightly when asked if the procedure might end Garland's career, as well.
"I don't know that I can say that until after the surgery,'' Conte said. "Shoulder surgery on a major league pitcher is serious stuff. You never can quite tell how it is going to come out.''
Garland, who grew up in the San Fernando Valley and attended Kennedy High School in Granada Hills, is in his 11th major league season and hadn't been on the disabled list since he was a rookie with the Chicago White Sox in 2000. But he has been on the DL twice this year, first with an oblique injury he suffered in spring training and later with the shoulder issue.
Conte said that no matter what ElAttrache finds during the surgery, which is tentatively scheduled for Monday, the recovery period will be at least six months.
"He had progressive discomfort through his first nine starts, to the point that he couldn't go anymore,'' Conte said. "He tried several times to throw and wasn't able to do so without pain. He got a second opinion. This kind of gives us no choice with regard to where we want to go.''
Garland, 31, saw Los Angeles Angels team physician Dr. Lewis Yocum on Saturday to get that second opinion, after which he opted to go ahead with the surgery. Even if he hadn't had the surgery, he probably wouldn't have been able to return in 2011.
"Jon has had a great career in staying off the disabled list,'' Conte said. "He has pitched a lot of years with over 3,000 pitches every year. He has been one of the fortunate ones at this point.''
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.