Schafer (forearm) said Sunday that he's made a full recovery from surgery last spring to repair a torn ligament, Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
It was initially feared that Schafer, who transitioned to relief pitching in 2016 after performing poorly at the plate during his five seasons as a major-league outfielder, would require Tommy John surgery after suffering from forearm issues last spring, but the damage didn't prove to be as severe as expected. The procedure to repair a ligament still ended up sidelining Schafer for much of the 2017 campaign, though the 31-year-old returned late in the season to play DH and outfield in a handful of games for two of the Cardinals' minor-league affiliates. Schafer resumed mound work about a month after the season concluded and shouldn't face many restrictions in the spring in his quest to win a spot in the big-league bullpen as a non-roster invitee. Though his hitting has left much to be desired throughout his career, Schafer's excellent speed has always made him a serviceable pinch runner and outfield defender. Having that skill might give him an edge over some of the pitchers he'll be competing with for bullpen jobs if all other things are relatively equal.
Schafer successfully underwent a repair of his elbow ligament Friday, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports.
It was uncertain which procedure Schafer would undergo until Friday, but it turns out he was able to opt for a Tommy John alternative that generally carries a shorter recovery time. The "primary repair" option will still sideline Schafer for the entire 2017 season, but he shouldn't have any issues entering 2018.
Schafer is scheduled to undergo elbow surgery on Friday and will miss the entire 2017 season, Derrick Goold of the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Although it seems likely that Schafer will need Tommy John surgery, it's possible that he'll be able to undergo an alternative procedure known as "primary repair" surgery that carries a slightly shorter recovery time. However, until Schafer goes under the knife, there is no way of knowing which procedure will end up taking place. Regardless of the surgery, it's apparent he'll be out for all of the 2017 season. It is unclear if he will attempt to come back as a reliever or an outfielder.
Schafer is scheduled to have elbow surgery later in the week, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
At this point, it's still uncertain exactly what the surgery will be for, as Goold also noted that it won't be known until the time of the procedure whether he needs Tommy John or a "primary repair" option. Either way, it seems the 30-year-old is set to miss extended time, but more will be known when the surgery draws closer.
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