Thursday, June 7, 2012

CSN: Halladay eyes long recovery ahead

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It?s going to be three weeks before Roy Halladay will pick up a baseball, following a week of no exercises, workouts or anything at all, the Phillies? ace pitcher revealed on Wednesday afternoon before the game against the Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park.?

It is the rest, more than anything else, that will help Halladay recover from the latissimus dorsi injury that forced him to the disabled list after an outing on May 27 in St. Louis. According to Halladay and Phillies athletic trainer Scott Sheridan, the pitcher returned from a second opinion visit with orthopedist Dr. David Altchek and it jibed with the prognosis recommended by team physician, Dr. Michael Ciccotti.

Therefore, Halladay will be re-evaluated after the three weeks of rest and if everything checks out, he will begin his path back to rejoining the team. The entire process is expected to take six to eight weeks.

But is Halladay?s injured lat one of those that could linger or perhaps even cause injury in his shoulder or elbow? Is this something that could bother Halladay for the rest of his career?

The short answer is no.

?It?s a matter of calming it down and strengthening everything around it,? Halladay explained. ?I think from what they saw, the changes weren?t such that would warrant anything down the road. From my understanding, I was never asked to see [Dr. Altchek] at a later point. Once we calmed it down and got things comfortable, it wouldn?t be something we?d have to evaluate later.?

When reports surfaced during spring training that Halladay had lost some of the zip off his fastball to a degree that scouts around the league were wondering if some type of injury was bothering the pitcher, Halladay angrily dismissed it. In fact, he said his current injury had not bothered him until he first reported it. Halladay said his shoulder/lat felt a little tight after the loss against Washington on May 22, but when it came time to take his next turn in the rotation, it was OK.

That was until he took the mound in St. Louis and couldn?t repeat the same arm motion from pitch to pitch. Only then did Halladay know that he had a problem.

?Honestly, it?s no different than any other year. You?re going to go through a period of a month or two months where not everything is where you want it to be,? Halladay said. ?I never had a time in my career where I went from April to September and felt like, man, I?m dialed in. It was nothing new to me, but that could be something that some of the coaches and some of the people outside saw, and I felt like they were quick to jump to other reasons and really I thought like that was the cause of some of the issues I was having. But really, it was nothing ever extraordinary that caused concern.?

Meanwhile, Halladay could have a little bit of money riding on his injury in terms of a vesting option for the 2014 season. Signed through the 2013 season, Halladay?s option is guaranteed if he pitches a combined 415 innings in 2012 and 2013, pitches 225 innings in 2013 and spends no time on the disabled list during the 2013 season. Given that he has pitched just 72 1/3 innings this season and will miss six to eight weeks, the 415 innings seems to be a long shot.

Because there is no team or player option, Halladay likely will be a free agent following the 2013 season, a prospect he isn?t very worried about. Halladay?s long-term goal is to pitch for the Phillies for as long as possible.

?It?s a year and a half away and ultimately it?s my goal to finish my career with the Phillies and win a World Series here,? Halladay said. ?Some of those things aren?t fully in my control, but my intent is to play here and finish my career here and be here as long as I can. I don?t know what?s going to happen over the next year and a half, but I know from my side I?m going to make an effort to be here for as long as I can and finish here. I don?t want to go anywhere else.?

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