Report: Benson hopes to salvage season with rehab

Updated: February 20, 2007, 11:17 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

It's a longshot, but Kris Benson's 2007 season might not be over before it starts after all.

Kris Benson
Benson

A anonymous source told The Baltimore Sun that Benson will put off surgery for his torn rotator cuff and instead try a rehabilitation process that could last a month in an attempt to save his 2007 season.

The newspaper reported that Benson visited with Dr. James Andrews on Monday for a third opinion on his shoulder injury.

Benson had an MRI exam this month that revealed a partial tear in his rotator cuff.

After coming to Baltimore in a January 2006 trade with the Mets, Benson went 11-12 with a 4.82 ERA in 30 starts. This season he was supposed to provide experience in a young starting rotation that includes Erik Bedard, Daniel Cabrera and Adam Loewen.

Rotator cuff tears usually require between eight to 12 months of rehabilitation for pitchers.

Benson is due $7.5 million this year, the final guaranteed season of a $22.5 million, three-year contract. The Orioles hold a $7.5 million option for 2008 with a $500,000 buyout.

The 32-year-old Benson missed the 2001 season after elbow-ligament transplant surgery and made only 18 starts in 2003 because of tendinitis in his right shoulder.

Benson finished second on the Orioles behind Bedard in wins and starts and was third in innings pitched (183). He had a career-high three completes games, but lost two of them.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.