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

3 Comments

Does Mr. Hendry have any clue to what he is doing? He trades Heilman, lets Gregg go via free agency, shuts down Guzman at the end of last season with shouldre problems, signs Nady an outfielder with arm problems. Gave out Big Money Contract to Players who can’t stay healthy or are head cases then complains he’s at the salary limit an can not bring in players to help the team.
He and Piniella say they need Bullpen Help gosh I wonder WHY?
Mr. Ricketts fire Hendry and Piniella NOW because if you stay with these guys it will be another year of sitting home in October

But, picking one or the other?…FIRE HENDRY.
I must say that I wouldn’t put too much of the blame on Hendry when it comes to UNFORSEEN injuries, but I agree that signing Nady was a questionable move not just because he is re-habbing but how in the heck is he going to get justified playing time for his salary (assuming he can throw again and play outfield) while we still have another Hendry mistake in Fukodome playing fulltime in right? Will Pinella bite the bullet and keep “The Fook” on the bench as a bad pinch hitter and good defensive right field replacement for Nady? But trading Heillman and letting Gregg go were no-brainers and just another self-indictment by Hendry of his terrible moves. Even when he signed the smooth-talking, gold glover (ha!), Bardley (gagg!) he should have know he had SOME inury prone history if not “bad boy” history. If Hendry was going to replace Fukodome on the roster with Nady that would have been understandable but to have Nady as a part-time player? Not worth the millions, Fuld should be that man or even Brad Snyder and the money saved could NOW have gone to the bullpen. Yep, I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it….Until Hendry realizes the Cubs do not have spot for a DH he’s going to keep struggling.

Letting Gregg and Heilman was the right move. In case you forgot Gregg blew more saves than anyone and gave up a ton of HRs and Heilman did nothing all year. Some vets will become avail at the end of spring and maybe some of these youngs guys step up but even if they don’t the bullpen is still only as bad as it was last year. If you think about it the closer is better right now and there are more options than last year. No one was counting of Guzman last year and he turned out to be one of the best arms in the pen. Who’s to say it can’t happen again? I agree that Hendry blows though.

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