Last time we checked in with San Francisco Giants’ starter Matt Cain he was going to see Dr. James Andrews who specializes in Tommy John surgery. As we have seen over the course of this season, as well as the last two, there has been an alarming increase in the need for Tommy John surgery among MLB and MiLB players. Going to Dr. Andrews for a second opinion has almost always been synonymous with being out of baseball for at least a year with a torn ulnar collateral ligament requiring the surgery.
Cain has received good news about his UCL, it is not torn. The bad news is that while he won’t need Tommy John surgery, he will still have to go under the knife more than likely ending his season. According to Chris Haft of MLB.com Cain has bone chips and spurs that will require surgery.
The recovery time for this type of surgery is significantly less than it is for Tommy John surgery. Tommy John surgery takes a pitcher a year to 18 months to fully recover, while the surgery Cain will undergo has an average recovery time of three months.
That is much better news than Cain, the Giants and their fans had feared. The surgery will effectively end Cain’s 2014 campaign however he should be able to begin the 2015 season fully recovered.
That is if he has the surgery soon. Cain hasn’t officially decided when the surgery will take place. He is hoping the bone chips will move to an area where they will no longer cause him discomfort. He’s had the bone chips for 10 years and has made three All-Star teams and been on two World Championship teams.
Even so, this time Cain agreed that it was unlikely that they would stop bothering him this time around,
“They’ve always been there,” said Cain, who’s 2-7 with a 4.15 ERA in 15 starts this season. “It’s just that now they’re mad and they’re letting me know about it. For some reason, they got in a different spot and they got aggravated and they are what they are now.”
The 29-year old played a little catch Friday trying to assess his injury and whether or not the surgery could wait until after the season. Giants manager Bruce Bochy thought that Cain could use both a physical and mental break over the weekend to get a clear picture of what to do.
“This will give him the weekend to decide who’s going to do [the surgery] and when, ” Bochy said, ““If you’re putting odds on it, odds are going to be that he will not pitch.”