Sheffield's shoulder surgery turns out to be more severe

Updated: October 9, 2007, 3:55 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

DETROIT -- Tigers designated hitter Gary Sheffield underwent surgery Monday on his right shoulder to remove loose bone chips. Standard stuff for a 38-year-old player.

But the Tigers weren't expecting to hear that Sheffield had done additional damage to the shoulder.

Gary Sheffield

Sheffield

Designated Hitter
Detroit Tigers

Profile

2007 Season Stats
GM HR RBI R OBP AVG
133 25 75 107 .378 .265

Dr. John Uribe, who examined Sheffield last week, also repaired a torn labrum and told the Tigers that Sheffield's arm would need to remain in a sling for the next month before he begins rehabilitation, the Detroit Free Press reported.

"It was a little more severe than the doctor expected," Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski told the newspaper by phone. "The doctor was amazed that Gary played with that much [pain] in the shoulder."

Dombrowski said he expects Sheffield to be healthy by Opening Day, adding there is less certainty about his readiness to play the outfield.

"We're not sure about throwing," Dombrowski told the Free Press.

Sheffield, who also had surgery on the shoulder in 1995, played through most of the second half of last season with a sore shoulder, missing the first week of August and going on the disabled list for two weeks later in the month.

Sheffield appeared in 133 games for Detroit in 2007, making 14 appearances in the outfield, and batted .265 with 25 home runs, 75 RBIs and 107 runs. He is signed through 2009 and will earn $28 million over the next two seasons.

The nine-time All-Star has hit .296 over with 480 homers for his career, which began in 1988 with Milwaukee. He also played for San Diego, Florida, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta and the New York Yankees before Detroit acquired him last year.

If Sheffield's two-month rehab program goes according to schedule, he might begin swinging a bat in January.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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