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According to the Boston Herald, the Red Sox have chosen to try the rehabilitation route with Curt Schilling instead of opting for surgery, as recommended by Dr. Craig Morgan. The Red Sox opinion is that if Schilling has surgery, he is effectively done for the year, if he opts for rehabilitation, he could be able to “pitch” (perhaps play catch with a little kid?) after the All-Star break…Schilling “can’t throw a baseball, and has pain simply shaking hands or opening a door.” Ouch. This news certainly didn’t happen over night and it’s a shame it has been basically ignored until now. According to Schilling’s doctor, Dr. Morgan:
“In my opinion a conservative approach will be unsuccessful, and that a surgical option is medically the correct thing to do and has the only potential shot of him being able to salvage his coming season,” said Morgan, who estimates Schilling could be ready to pitch by the All-Star break with the procedure.
“It’s my opinion if he has my proposed surgery he would have a shot at being fully rehabbed by the All-Star break, which was fully explained to all,” Morgan said. “The Red Sox disagree with that completely. They are of the opinion if he has surgery he is done for the season. The problem is if they take the conservative approach, it’s my opinion it will be 6-8 weeks before it can be determined if it is successful, and by that time you will have blown the opportunity to have surgery and still pitch this season.”
So the doctor says one thing, and the Red Sox say another. The Red Sox seem to think they are smarter than the doctors. Granted, perhaps they should seek out additional opinions, but this decision by the Sox seems hurried and not well-backed. If Morgan says Schilling will be back with surgery by the All-Star break, and the Red Sox think he will be back without surgically correcting the issue by the same time, we have to wonder which option provides the highest chance of a successful 2008 season for Schilling. The 6-8 week timeline of uncertainty of success for the rehab route is scary to say the least. It seems like the Sox are playing with fire here by ignoring the doctor (why do they hire them in the first place?).
What kind of season would this be if the Red Sox didn’t start with some drama? Either way, it looks like Dice-K will be taking a firm number two spot in the rotation, we’ll get to see a lot of Clay Buchholz, and we’ll need Jon Lester to stay healthy for the season. It should be interesting!