Visit with Dr. Andrews will likely determine whether Glavine's career is over
ATLANTA -- Braves pitcher Tom Glavine is scheduled to be examined Wednesday by Dr. James Andrews in Alabama, a visit that is expected to determine whether the pitcher's stellar career is over.
Glavine, out for the rest of the season with a torn flexor tendon, reiterated Monday what he said after going on the disabled list last week: Andrews' diagnosis will likely determine his fate in baseball.
"I pretty much knew that this was going to be the case when I left here Thursday night," Glavine said. "It didn't feel good, and that was different from my rehab starts."
If Andrews determines he needs elbow ligament replacement surgery to continue pitching, Glavine would retire. Spending nearly 12 months rehabilitating from the Tommy John procedure is all but out of the question for the 42-year-old left-hander.
If Andrews suggests he only needs surgery on the tendon, Glavine would undergo the operation almost immediately with the hope that he could pitch next year for Atlanta.
He also acknowledges that there's no guarantee, however, the Braves would offer a one-year contract.
Atlanta's slide in the NL East standings also caused Glavine to rule out any chance that Andrews or another orthopedist could try an alternative procedure that would patch up his arm enough to let him pitch this year.
A 5-0 loss to San Francisco on Monday left the Braves, who are in fourth place in the NL East, 12 games behind the division-leading New York Mets.
"I could try and get through the rest of the year if we were in a pennant race," Glavine said. "Then, yeah, maybe your approach is different. Based on conversations I've had with the doctors and how I've pitched the last two times with it, clearly I'm not doing us any good."
Glavine spent the first 15 seasons of his 21-year career with Atlanta, winning the World Series-clinching Game 6 against Cleveland in 1995 and NL Cy Young Awards in 1991 and '98.
Last year with the Mets, Glavine won his 300th game.
In his first start Thursday since spending two months on the disabled list, Glavine gave up seven runs in four innings of an 11-7 loss to the Chicago Cubs. He is 2-4 with a 5.54 ERA in 13 starts this season and 305-203 in his career.
"The hard part about what I was doing before was that I was just sitting around and getting treatment [when] there's no guarantee it's going to work," Glavine said.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press