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Baseball Today: Saturday, February 9 »
February 8, 2008
Dr. Craig Morgan, the personal physician for Curt Schilling, says the right-hander's problems stem from a ''diseased'' biceps tendon and the chances of his pitching again without surgery are almost nil.
''If he has surgery, the chances of his coming back and pitching effectively are about 75 percent,'' he told The Journal's Joe McDonald this afternoon. ''If he doesn't have surgery'' -- in other words, if he follows the Red Sox' prescribed treatment of rest and rehabilitation -- ''his chances of coming back and pitching effectively are 5 to 8 percent.''
The Red Sox' medical team reached the conclusion that rest and rehabilitation would cure the problem, and their diagnosis was backed by Dr. David Altchek, the Mets' team physician, who both sides agreed upon for a third opinion. Morgan, however, says he knows Schilling's shoulder better than anyone -- ''I've known this guy and examined his shoulder for 13 years. I've operated on his shoulder twice, once in '95 and once in '99. Both those procedures at the time were very controversial, and I was told, you know, that nobody's ever come back from this kind of stuff. The same kind of thing that's going on now.'' -- and says that, while he respects their opinions, he disagrees with the conclusions reached by the other medical teams.
''I see no shot at being . . . pain-free [without surgery],'' said Morgan. ''I don't think this guy will even be able to exercise . . . And the real issue here is, if you blow six or eight weeks trying [to see if rest and rehabilitation will work] and then . . . try to pull the trigger on surgery, then you've blown six to eight weeks and then the season may be gone.''
Morgan believes that if Schilling has the surgery immediately, he may be able to pitch again by the All-Star break.
Morgan is not related to Dr. Bill Morgan, who performed the procedures on Schilling's injured ankle in the 2004 postseason.
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