MacPhail, Trembley on JJ

By now you probably know that Jim Johnson has been placed on Triple-A Norfolk’s disabled list with a right elbow injury diagnosed as a strained ulnar collateral ligament by team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens. Johnson will seek a second opinion with Dr. James Andrews sometime this week for an injury he has reportedly dealt with (quietly) since the beginning of the season.
“I’m not terribly worried,” president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said. “Our prognosis is going to be that he’s going to have to rest for a few weeks. Generally, the second opinion verifies the first, but we’ll get the second opinion for verification.”

What was the first opinion?

“The prognosis is that he probably needs to rest it a few weeks and then start a throwing program,” MacPhail said. “There’s no need for surgery, which is good news on the first opinion. We’ll just get him back when he’s healthy. It’s a strain, but it was explained to me that it’s not in the area that indicates, ‘Oh my gosh, we have a problem.’ It’s in an area where if you let it rest for a while, it’s going to be fine.”

MacPhail said he wasn’t aware of Johnson’s injury until recent days, but wasn’t ready to push the panic button just yet.
“Jim Johnson is a terrific kid and a good competitor, but you have to be smart with what it is,” MacPhail said. “We were not aware of at the time anything that is potentially harmful for him. We never would have put him in that situation. We’ll just see what the second opinion is and how things play out. Right now, I’m happy that the prognosis isn’t anything more severe than what the first opinion gives us.”

Manager Dave Trembley found out Sunday morning that Johnson would visit Andrews and was equally in the dark about the right-hander pitching through elbow discomfort.
“Depending on what happens here [with Andrews] it might be something where he [and] a lot of these other guys might want to reconsider [pitching hurt],” Trembley said. “It’s one thing to be a tough guy, it’s another thing to look at the best interests of the team and your career, long term and down the road.”

“I admire guys who want pt play, who understand that you are not always going to be 100 percent physically. I admire that but I’ll be interested to see how this whole thing transpires with him, to be honest with you.”

Johnson is the second Orioles reliever to see Andrews this season, with closer Mike Gonzalez (left shoulder strain) also getting a second opinion last month. Gonzalez -who is rehabbing in Sarasota, Fla. –was able to avoid surgery and the Orioles hope Johnson will be as well.

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