Schilling's shoulder on the mend
Right-hander joins family to raise skin cancer awareness
RANDOLPH, Mass. -- With his right arm in a sling, Curt Schilling showed up with his wife and two sons on Monday morning at a movie theater south of Boston to preach the message of skin cancer awareness in the summer.
But before entering the building, the pitcher who helped the Red Sox to World Series titles in 2004 and '07 said he is still weeks away from deciding if he'll make another attempt at returning to the Majors in 2009.
Monday marked two weeks since Schilling underwent reconstructive right shoulder surgery performed by Dr. Craig Morgan in Wilmington, Del.
"We're in the initial phase of my rehab," said Schilling, who was also sporting an authentic Donovan McNabb Philadelphia Eagles jersey. "Whether I was a plumber or a pitcher, I'd have to do it just to have use of my shoulder and arm. There's no real critical decision-making point for a good five, seven or eight weeks from now, until I need to decide whether I want to progress past the normal surgery rehab into very specific job rehab and we'll figure that out then."
Schilling signed a one-year, $8 million incentive-laden contract with the Red Sox in November, just a month removed from winning Game 2 of the 2007 World Series at Fenway Park and improving to 11-2 lifetime in the postseason.
But a shoulder injury limited him to strength and conditioning drills in the spring. He eventually worked his way up to bullpen sessions, but felt too much pain when he tried to increase the intensity and had to have surgery on June 23.
"I'm just doing some of the normal stuff right now to get my arm up and running and be able to use it in my normal everyday life," Schilling said.
And his everyday life on Monday included going to the movies with his family. But the right-hander couldn't sign autographs for the 200 or so fans who turned out at Showcase Cinemas for a special showing of the movie "Charlotte's Web" to benefit his wife, Shonda, and her SHADE Foundation for skin cancer awareness and prevention.
"It's sore, yeah," Schilling said his shoulder. "It's a little bit sorer than I expected it to be, but we did a lot more than I think we expected initially."
"He was in a lot more pain than he had been with any other surgery," Shonda added. "But if it's something he believes in, that he wants to do, then that's what he wants. I know my kids really aren't ready for him to retire, not because he's home. They really are enjoying him at home, but my youngest is 6 and he's just at an age where he can understand it."
His sons, Gehrig, 13, and Garrison, 6, helped distribute sunscreen and deliver the message that it's better to be indoors during the heat of the day than out in the sun without protection.
"It shows how big that Red Sox name is," Shonda said. "You say, 'Boston Red Sox pitcher's wife,' and you'll still get a few hundred people here. We know that it's catching on, and that it's important to families and if they just get the message when I talk for a couple of minutes before, it's worth it."
The SHADE Foundation wasn't the only group Schilling was throwing his support behind Monday. Schilling, still a member of the Red Sox, was happy for the seven Red Sox players selected to the July 15 All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium.
"Proud and disappointed," Schilling said of his emotions. "I was hoping Jon Lester would make it. I thought he earned a spot. I'm glad to see Jason [Varitek] gets the recognition from the players that I think he so rightly deserves. I know he's a little embarrassed about it, because he's not hitting so well right now."
He was disappointed, as millions of Red Sox fans were, in the omission of third baseman Mike Lowell, who has helped pick up the slack since a left wrist injury sidelined David Ortiz.
"Not being on the All-Star team doesn't make you any less of an All-Star to us," Schilling said of Lowell, who is hitting .297 with 13 homers and 54 RBIs. "He's an incredibly important piece of the puzzle, obviously on the field, but off the field as well. You always like to see guys that deserve to get it, get it. Until they make the roster bigger, which is what I think they should do, guys are going to get left off every year."
Mike Petraglia is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.