Arrieta on his health, his elbow & not ruling out surgery

Orioles starter Jake Arrieta said he hasn’t had any right elbow issues beyond the usual soreness and believes near-daily treatment on the area –which became aggravated earlier this season and hampered him in several starts — has helped immensely.

Arrieta, who opted to not remove the bone spur in his elbow this offseason, said he is still optimistic he can avoid the surgery but acknowledged Thursday it’s not something he’s completely ruling out.

“If  I’m able to finish this year successfully and healthy I think it’s something we might talk about,” Arrieta said of the procedure. “But it hasn’t gotten any bigger in size since I first looked at it in college. So that’s a positive, that’s a plus. Just keeping an eye on it is where we are at now. And if it’s not getting any worse and it’s not causing discomfort than I think that we leave it alone.”

The 25-year-old Arrieta, who stayed local for the All-Star break, threw a bullpen session at Camden Yards on Tuesday and described his arm as feeling “incredible” in comparison to where he was at in Pittsburgh last month which was the second start this season in which he dealt with right elbow inflammation.

“Over the course of my career I can count the number of times on one hand where it’s really been an issue,” Arrieta said of the spur.

“Now that I know how to deal with it,  I don’t really see it being a problem for the remainder of this year. And I think moving forward and into the future it’s something I can manage pretty easily.”

Arrieta went 9-6 with a 4.90 ERA in 18 first-half starts and said he doesn’t have any regrets regarding his decision to leave the spur.

” I definitely don’t regret not having it done,” he said.  “I think that as a player you want to avoid surgery at all costs. And something minor like this, if you can manage it and go out and be healthy every fifth day, I don’t think there’s any reason to go in there and have it taken out. The things down the road that it could lead to. And that’s one reason I really didn’t want to have it taken out. A lot of people tell me that down the road, even a year or two after the operation, people have Tommy John issues. And that’s something I want to avoid.”

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