Giants C Brian Wilson Out for Season Following Elbow Surgery (VIDEO)
After an MRI revealed structural damage in Brian Wilson’s right elbow, the San Francisco Giants may fear season-ending surgery may be in the near future for their bearded closer. According to Giants manager Bruce Bochy and athletic trainer Dave Groeschner the team will seek at least two more opinions before making an official statement.
“There’s some concern,” Groeschner said, indicating that Wilson was having trouble playing catch. “He’s stiff. He can’t move it great. It’s not really anything you can see visually.”
But in all honesty, things don’t look good for Wilson’s chances to pitch again this season. In fact, everything indicates that the 30-year-old former saves champ may be headed for his second Tommy John surgery. The Giants have scheduled a meeting with renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews, who will likely perform the procedure.
“There’s definitely some issues there,” Bochy said on Saturday. “Initially I was just being optimistic he would be fine, but after the test done yesterday it doesn’t look very good right now… Likely he’s looking at surgery.”
A three-time All-Star, Wilson led the majors in 2010 with 48 saves on their way to the team’s first World Series championship in 56 years. Since then, Wilson has struggled to remain healthy, taking a few trips to the disable-list for inflammation in his throwing elbow. He was forced to sit out a critical stretch during the Giants’ playoff push late last season.
But despite missing a number of games due to injury, the hard-throwing righty would go on to finish the 2011 season with 36 saves. Having that said, it appears those same issues have transferred over to the 2012 campaign, as the MRI revealed the severity of the situation.
With just 8 games into a new season filled with high expectations for Bay Area fans, the colorful closer may be headed to the shelf in what would be a huge blow to their bullpen. The Giants are expected to revert to having a closer-by-committee approach until someone takes ownership in Wilson’s absence. Estimated time for the type of elbow-reconstructive surgery he needs is usually anywhere from a year to 18 months.
“You feel for Willie, he’s worked hard on his rehab, he’s been down a long road,” Bochy added. “We didn’t have any hiccups, it all went well. Spring training went well with the rehab, we checked off every box with him, back-to-back days. It looked like he was all set to go and this happens. You’re disappointed for Willie, first of all, and obviously for the team. We have a good bullpen. We’ll figure a way to get this done. Certainly we’ll miss him.”