Peavy navigating uncharted waters
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Jake Peavy continued to defy all the odds of shoulder injuries on Friday afternoon by making his first start of the spring, coming just eight months after undergoing what amounts to experimental surgery to reattach a key muscle to the rear of his right shoulder.Should his recovery continue to follow a quick and recuperative path, the 29-year-old right-hander might have set the standard for many similar shoulder injuries to come. Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery? Call it Jake Peavy shoulder reconstruction surgery. "I hope nobody else has to have it," Peavy said after throwing two scoreless, hitless innings for the White Sox against the Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Invariably somebody will. The innovative Dr. Frank Jobe filled a similar need and performed the first elbow reconstructive surgery in 1974 on Tommy John, when the left-hander shredded the ligament in his elbow as a member of the Dodgers. It took 18 months for John to rehab, but after he did so, he went on to win 164 more games over 14 seasons to finish a 26-year big league career with 288 victories. Since then, hundreds of athletes have undergone the surgery that bears John's name and transplants a ligament in the elbow, making it almost commonplace. Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals pitcher and a No. 1 Draft pick in 2009, and Adam Wainwright, the Cardinals right-hander, are perhaps the most prominent pitchers to most recently have had it. Peavy knew he was walking a tightrope without a net, but he probably paved the way for others to successfully undergo the same shoulder surgery in years to come.
2010 Spring Training - Major League Baseball
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Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.