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08/08/08 7:15 PM ET
Wilson debating playing with bone spur
Closer weighing options as second opinion confirms diagnosis
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
BALTIMORE -- A second opinion has confirmed that Rangers closer C.J. Wilson has a bone spur in his left elbow and will likely need surgery eventually. The question is whether Wilson should have the surgery now or have a cortisone shot to alleviate the pain, continue to pitch and have the operation after the season. The Rangers and Wilson will discuss both options, which were presented to him by Dr. Lewis Yocum after an examination on Thursday in Los Angeles. Yocum confirmed the original diagnosis made by Dr. Keith Meister last week in Dallas. Wilson also had a CT scan on Thursday to get a better reading on the density of the bone spur, but the test has not been read. "Once we get that result and sit down with C.J., we'll make a proper determination on what's the proper option," Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "It's similar to what most guys are dealing with at this stage of the season. It's just a matter of seeing how much discomfort you can pitch with and how much pain can be alleviated by the injection. It's not black and white." Dr. Yocum told Wilson that he can continue to pitch without causing further damage to the elbow, so the issue is pain tolerance. "The doctor can tell you the extent of the bone spur, but not the extent of the pain," Levine said. "At some point, he'll need to clean this up, whether it's now or during the offseason. It's very rare that these things just dissipate. More often than not, you have to have surgery." Wilson was the Rangers' closer until they put him on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday. He leads Texas with 24 saves, but he had a 13.00 ERA in his past 11 appearances, driving his ERA up from 4.34 to 6.02.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.