Sox shut Jake Peavy down for the Season, Will undergo Ground-breaking Surgery

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Right-handed pitcher Jake Peavy of the Chicago White Sox will undergo surgery to repair a detached latissimus dorsi muscle in his right posterior shoulder on Wednesday at Rush University Hospital-Oak Park, with surgeons from Midwest Orthopedics.

This surgical procedure has previously been performed on tennis and volleyball players, but this will be the first time it’s ever been done on a Major League Baseball pitcher.

“Nobody’s had the surgery in baseball that we know of…Obviously, this is uncharted territory because it’s not common,’’ Peavy said.

“While (pitchers) have torn lats, they’ve never completely torn off the bone with no attachments left. And that’s where we’re at. We’re hoping, around the start of the season, to be back in action,” he said.

The Sox ace removed his shirt so that reporters could see the stark contrast between his injured shoulder/back ligament  and the healthy one. The injured muscle tissue was not a sight for the faint of heart.

However, Peavy plans to be throwing again next spring and ready to pitch by next season; if all goes well. A consensus of doctors agree that he could be back in uniform for 2011.

By Paul M. Banks

Dr. Tony Romeo, a White Sox orthopedic surgeon specializing in shoulder and elbow repairs, will perform the surgery with assistance from fellow Sox team physicians Dr. Greg Nicholson and Dr. Charles Bush-Joseph.

Romeo was selected to perform the surgery following consultation with numerous shoulder specialists, including Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Lewis Yocum.  Romeo is renowned for repairing more “lats” than any surgeon in the United States.

These specialists are also experts at performing elbow ligament replacement surgeries colloquially known as “Tommy John surgery,” named after the former Major League pitcher who was the procedure’s original guinea pig.

The fact that Peavy’s surgery and rehabilitation will set a new precedent, including a groundbreaking procedure, means that his situation will inevitably be compared to that of Tommy John.

Doctors believe Peavy would best be served by doing the surgery as soon as possible. Peavy will rehabilitate with the team for the remainder of the 2010 season under the supervision of White Sox Head Athletic Trainer Herm Schneider.

The injury occurred in the second inning of Tuesday’s 4-1 victory over Los Angeles.  He went 7-6 with a 4.63 ERA (55 ER/107.0 IP), 93 strikeouts and one shutout in 17 starts this season, including a 3-2 record with a 1.67 ERA (7 ER/37.2 IP) over his last six outings.

Sox prospect Jeff Marquez was called up to fill Peavy’s roster spot, but that was only for helping out a recently over-worked bullpen. He is not expected to make (what was) Peavy’s next scheduled start on Sunday. That slot will likely go to Sox super-prospect Daniel Hudson.

Written by Paul M. Banks, President and CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest focused webzine. He is also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, the Chicago Tribune’s blog network, Walter Football.com, the Washington Times Communities, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com

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