Glavine doesn't need surgery; return in 7-10 days?

Updated: August 23, 2006, 12:06 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Tom Glavine will soon be able to resume his quest for 300 victories and another World Series ring.

Starting Pitcher
New York Mets

26 12 6 53 103 3.92

Allaying fears that Glavine's season -- and career, possibly -- could be over because of a blood clot in his left shoulder, the New York Mets said Tuesday that he won't need surgery. Instead, Glavine should be able to rejoin the Mets' rotation in seven to 10 days. In fact, he may not even need to go on the disabled list.

"I'm relieved," Glavine said before Tuesday night's game against St. Louis. "It's certainly a great feeling knowing that I can go out there and pitch."

Still sharp at 40, Glavine is 12-6 with a 3.92 ERA this season. The two-time Cy Young Award winner has 287 career wins.

The Mets had the best record in the league and held a 13½-game lead over Philadelphia in the NL East going into Tuesday.

Glavine felt coldness in his left ring finger after a 3-0 loss at Philadelphia last Wednesday. He said he often gets a "cold sensation" in his fingers during the winter, but was concerned that this happened in the summer.

"The same way it was a shock to get the news, it was as shocking to find out that he was going to be OK. "
-- Mets general manager Omar Minaya

An angiogram Monday showed no invasive procedure is needed. Glavine can treat the condition with medication, including baby aspirin, which will act as a type of blood thinner.

Glavine was hesitant to call his problem a blood clot. He said doctors told him it was a "freckling effect," where something broke loose in his system.

"The test showed that the symptoms are caused by an old injury to an artery probably caused by pitching," the Mets said in a statement. "The scar tissue from that old injury occasionally causes blood clots to form in Tom's finger. The condition is not serious and will be treated with baby aspirin and other medication to help his circulation."

Glavine will rest for the next two days, and said he figured he'd need a couple of side sessions before pitching a game.

"When you get to the ballpark and get news like that, it's a great thing," Mets manager Willie Randolph said.

New York already is minus ace Pedro Martinez, on the 15-day disabled list after straining his right calf last week. The Mets have been able to patch together their rotation without Glavine and Martinez, promoting Dave Williams from Triple-A last week.

"The same way it was a shock to get the news, it was as shocking to find out that he was going to be OK," Mets general manager Omar Minaya said.

In 1990, while he pitched for Atlanta, Glavine's left middle finger and index finger were diagnosed in 1990 with Raynaud's, a condition caused by poor circulation that results in numbness and coldness.

Glavine said he never thought this episode would end his career. Yet the prospects for this season were daunting when he first spoke to doctors.

"I don't think I was ever concerned about beyond this year," Glavine said. "Not that surgery ever comes at a good time, but this came at the worst time."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press