Josh Beckett to undergo season-ending surgery to relieve pressure on compressed nerve

The Los Angeles Dodgers confirmed on Saturday that Josh Beckett is scheduled to undergo surgery to relieve pressure on the compressed nerve in his neck and shoulder area that is the source of the lingering numbness is his right fingers.

This news comes after Beckett spent five weeks on the disabled list for what was originally a strained groin. Early into his throwing program for that injury, he began experiencing the numbness in his hand that ultimately led the Dodgers to shut him down. The hope then being that the irritated nerve in his neck would settle down and the numbness he was experiencing would clear up or at the very least improve.

As we learned on Saturday, four weeks later Beckett's condition has not improved, so the 33-year-old veteran decided he'll undergo the operation that will end his 2013 season.

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times was among the first to report the news on Twitter. His colleague, Dylan Hernandez, provided a few more details a short time later.

The Dodgers right-hander next week will undergo an operation designed to help him regain feeling in his pitching hand. The surgery is scheduled for the week of July 8 in Dallas. Dr. Greg Pearl will remove Beckett’s top rib to relieve pressure on a compressed nerve that is believed to be the source of the problem.

Beckett, 33, is expected to be ready for spring training next year. He is under contract for $15.75 million in 2014.

Perhaps the most notable tidbit in Hernandez's write up is the expectation that Beckett will be ready for spring training. That should put the retirement talk on the back burner for the time being, but that could easily heat back up if Beckett suffers a setback following surgery or just doesn't feel the relief he's seeking through the operation. As we've seen with Chris Carpenter — who underwent the same operation last season — a quick and complete recovery is far from guaranteed.

But that's looking a little too far ahead at this point. The next step for Beckett is surgery, then we wait to see how the healing and recovery goes. If all goes as planned, then it's up to the Dodgers to determine if Josh Beckett is still a realistic option in a five-man rotation at the big league level.

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