Sheets' Surgery Successful
According to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, Ben Sheets had his elbow surgery performed yesterday, and, after a successful procedure without incident, he should be ready to return for the second half of the season.
Legendary Birmingham, Ala. surgeon James Andrews performed the operation on Sheets, repairing his partial tear of the right flexor tendon, and is reportedly confident the pitcher will return this season. The operation was paid for by the Brewers, since Sheets was still on their payroll when he was placed on the disabled list with the elbow injury last fall.
Sheets was already talking to reporters just hours after the operation, and he's giving off strong signals that he'll be pitching down the stretch, come hell or high water.
"In my mind, it's a done deal," Sheets said. "That doesn't mean it's going to be. But I'm looking only at the positive. When I'm healthy, I'd be a good fit for teams making a run at it."
The former Brewers star was also particularly candid about the injury and why he never had the procedure earlier. According to Sheets, the early prognosis for recovery without surgery was good enough that he was willing to take a risk on rehab. Obviously, that turned out to be the wrong choice, and further research -- Sheets said he learned that many lasted only 50 to 100 innings before stopping and opting for surgery -- convinced him that undergoing surgery now could produce Andy Pettitte like results; the Yankees pitcher has thrown four 200-inning seasons since having the same procedure performed by Andrews.
Interestingly, Sheets said he and the Rangers did discuss a second deal with less guaranteed money after his surgery, an option Dave pointed out last week, comparing Sheets' injury to one suffered by Jon Liber when he was signed by the Yankees in 2003. But the Rangers may have wanted Sheets to try and play through the injury rather than have surgery, and he clearly felt like having the procedure now was the right thing to do for his career.
"I feel like I'm taking a big chance, but it was one I was willing to take," Sheets said. "I think there is a huge opportunity out there to be had. I truly believe I'll be back by the end of the year, be healthy and help somebody win."
Who knows which team that will be, but if he's healthy, you can bet Sheets will land with someone.
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