Not good, yet not entirely surprising, news this afternoon about St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter. He will have season-ending surgery on July 19 for the thoracic outlet syndrome that has caused weakness in his shoulder.
And the surgery sounds none-too-pleasant, from what Joe Strauss describes in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Surgery requires removal of his first rib, the release of scalene muscles in his neck and freeing the nerves that make up his brachial plexus, a bundle of nerves that runs from his neck beneath his collarbone to his shoulder. Carpenter has pitched with numbness in his right forearm since the 2008 episode but has not appeared in competition since working an industry-most 273 innings last season.
Standard rehab for such surgery is six months, meaning Carpenter had to decide on having the procedure this month in order to recover before next spring training.
The procedure is not without risk and in some cases symptoms return afterward. Carpenter declined the surgery in October 2008 because of risks it poses not only to his career but also to everyday functions. Additional damage to nerves can occur.
More from Jenifer Langosch at Cardinals.com is available here.
Needless to say, nothing but the very best wishes to CC on his upcoming surgery and recovery.