3/7 Guzman considering surgery
Angel Guzman is considering surgery on his right shoulder to repair the torn ligament rather than take a conservative approach and rehab. An MRI revealed a severe tear in a ligament in his shoulder near his armpit. The Cubs pitcher said Sunday he will get a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews.
“Let’s see if the third one can finally get it done,” Guzman said.
Andrews did both Guzman’s shoulder surgery in July 2003 and elbow surgery in September 2007. The orthopedic specialist told Guzman before the elbow procedure that he could see in the pitcher’s eyes that he wasn’t done trying to make it in the big leagues.
“It’s going to be tough,” Guzman said. “By doing [the surgery], I have a small chance, but there is a chance.”
He hasn’t fully committed to another surgery.
“I’m thinking about (surgery),” Guzman said. “I’ll consult my family, my agent, all of them and get the people who are close to me involved in my decision. I’ve got a lot of family to support. I think it’s a good idea to talk to them.”
He was frustrated by the pain after spending the winter strengthening his arm.
“I don’t think there’s a chance to get it fixed without the surgery,” he said. “By doing rehab, it won’t do anything. I spent four months here working out and I felt as strong as ever and there’s still pain. I think that’s the only way to get it fixed.”
The rehab isn’t the hard part, he said.
“The hard part is establishing yourself in the big leagues,” Guzman said. “That’s the hard part. I did some of that last year and my goal this year coming to Spring Training was to get my job done and get the outs that I need to get done and do what’s best for the team. It’s disappointing, sadness, and I just have to go through it.”
Guzman has been a highly touted prospect in the Cubs system since he began his pro career in 2000 but last year was the first extended action in the big leagues. He appeared in 55 games, posting a 2.95 ERA. This year, the Cubs were considering him for the late inning relief duties. On Saturday, Lou Piniella said it seems as if Guzman is jinxed.
“Lou and all the guys have been really supportive and I appreciate it,” Guzman said. “You get to know yourself more and I know all these guys have my back.”
He may take some time off to visit family. It’s been a difficult few months for Guzman, who lost his brother, Daniel, Jan. 11 in a shooting in Caracas. He injured his knee running in Venezuela prior to the incident, and had arthroscopic surgery.
“I would love to [take time off],” Guzman said. “For the last two months, I’ve been through some issues. Maybe going home, I can clear my mind and get me more fresh and fight for my goal, for what I want.”
The news of the ligament damage came as a surprise to Guzman.
“It’s very sad but what can I do? I’m still breathing,” he said.
And he hasn’t given up.
“I love pitching,” Guzman said. “I’ve been pitching since I was 4-years-old. I’m still 28, I know that’s young. I think 28 is a good age to keep pushing it.”
– Carrie Muskat