Glavine to rest for two weeks

Updated: April 15, 2009, 2:32 AM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Tom Glavine may retire if his sore left shoulder doesn't improve in two weeks.

Glavine was told Tuesday he must rest for at least two weeks after inflammation was found in his left rotator cuff. The 43-year-old had an MRI and was examined by Dr. James Andrews, who advised treatment and rest.

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Glavine said he's tired of rehabbing after elbow and shoulder surgery last August. He's willing to give the shoulder two weeks, but not much longer.

"I'm willing to put in a little more time but I'm not willing to put in another six weeks or eight weeks because by then, you know what, I'm going to have to start all over again and I'm not interested in doing that," he said.

Glavine joined the Braves at Turner Field on Tuesday night following the examination in Birmingham, Ala.

He ended Sunday's minor league start with Double-A Mississippi after two innings due to soreness in the shoulder after swinging a bat.

Glavine felt similar discomfort when hitting in spring training, but he said that pain didn't last as it did this time.

The visit with Andrews left Glavine with a two-week timetable that may determine if he continues his career.

"From my own standpoint, it works better for me to kind of have a timetable to say, OK, let's give it this amount of time, and if we see some progress, then good. We'll know we're going in the right direction," Glavine said. "If we don't, then I think maybe at that point in time maybe we need to sit down and honestly think about how much more I want to go through this and whether or not anything is going to change."

Because the MRI did not reveal a tear, the initial reaction from the Braves was positive.

General manager Frank Wren said the Braves "were happy that it wasn't more serious."

"I think it's good it happened swinging the bat instead of throwing the ball," manager Bobby Cox said. "It's kind of a disappointment for me, but I think the good news is he's coming back."

Glavine, who agreed to a $1 million, one-year contract in February, sounded less sure that he'll pitch again. He doesn't expect to have another MRI in two weeks.

"I think all of it is going to be based on how I progress pain-wise," he said. "If I'm seeing a definitive change in the amount of pain that I have and the amount of strength I'm being able to gain, then I think I continue on. If two weeks from now my pain has not changed and my strength isn't any better, then I think I'm more clearly in a position where I need to honestly sit down and figure out how much more I want to go through with this."

Glavine was 2-4 with a 5.54 ERA in 13 starts last season. He had a partially torn left elbow tendon repaired by Andrews on Aug. 21. At that time, Andrews also cleaned up Glavine's left shoulder.

"I think he's surprised my elbow has held up as well as it has and I'm having so many issues with my shoulder," Glavine said.

The rehabilitation from last summer's surgery has left Glavine less willing to start another long process. He said if his shoulder doesn't feel better in two weeks, he'd have difficulty being ready to pitch before the All-Star break.

"I don't think it's fair to this team and I'm not sure I have the desire to do all that for maybe half a season," he said.

Atlanta adjusted plans for the No. 5 spot in their rotation. Left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes will be recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett for Saturday's game at Pittsburgh, which had been Glavine's first scheduled start of the season.

Glavine, a 305-game winner and 10-time All-Star, spent his first 16 major league seasons with the Braves, winning the NL Cy Young Award in 1991 and 1998. He pitched for the New York Mets from 2003-07 and returned to Atlanta last season to be with his family.

Glavine's contract contains $3.5 million in bonuses based on roster time, including a $1 million bonus when he is placed on the active roster.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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