On July 8, 2008, Blue Jays starter Dustin McGowan left a game after feeling pain in his shoulder. Little did he know, he wouldn't return to a major-league mound for at least three years, if ever.
McGowan had season-ending surgery to repair the labrum in his shoulder, expecting to return in 2009. But in May of that year, he suffered a knee injury and had another operation. The Jays expected him back in 2010, but he has continued to have trouble with the shoulder. In March, he was shut down with the dreaded "dead arm" diagnosis.
Monday, McGowan saw famed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who recommended arthroscopic surgery to clean up and evaluate the shoulder. Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos told Jordan Bastian of MLB.com (via Twitter ) that McGowan could be out until 2012.
McGowan, 28, was a first-round draft pick in 2000 and seemed to have a bright future. He was slow to develop, but in 2007 he won 12 games, and he was off to a solid start in 2008 before the arm injury.
The road back just got a lot longer. McGowan's contract is up at the end of the season, and the question becomes whether the Blue Jays stick with him or write him off.
-- David Andriesen
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