Wells leaves camp to see blood clot specialist

Updated: February 25, 2006, 11:54 PM ET
Associated Press

 Kip Wells
BRADENTON, Fla. -- Pittsburgh Pirates starter Kip Wells was examined Saturday by a St. Louis surgeon who specializes in blood clots.

Wells left the Pirates on Friday night and was checked by Dr. Robert Thompson, a vascular surgeon at Washington University, general manager Dave Littlefield said.

Littlefield called the move "a precautionary measure" and said he had no further details. Wells, who approached team officials Thursday to complain of arm fatigue, is expected to rejoin the team Sunday, Littlefield said.

Thompson has operated on two major league players, Colorado Rockies pitcher Aaron Cook in 2004 and Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Luis Terrero in 2003. Each needed to have a rib removed and a vein redirected to remedy an affliction known as thoracic outlet syndrome, one in which a vein from the chest to the arm is constricted.

Cook returned to playing baseball in eight months, Terrero in five months.

The 28-year-old Wells is coming off a disappointing season in which he went 8-18 with a 5.09 earned run average. The Pirates signed him to a one-year, $4.15 million contract in January and avoided arbitration.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press