Minnesota Twins right-hander Carl Pavano was shut down for the season on Tuesday and wasn't happy about it. After trying to pitch through a shoulder injury, and well into a minor league rehab assignment, he got a new diagnosis that ended his comeback.
An MRI and examination by specialist Dr. David Altchek of the sore right shoulder that had bothered Pavano since spring training revealed a bruised humerus, which will require rest to heal.
"It's too bad it took three months to diagnose that," Pavano said. "I could have been resting."
Pavano hasn't pitched for the Twins since June 1 and scrapped a rehab start with Class A Fort Myers to see Altchek on Tuesday. Twins doctors diagnosed him with a strain in his shoulder capsule, but he said Altchek determined the primary culprit is the bruise, which is causing inflammation and pain in his shoulder and is responsible for a dip in velocity he hasn't been able to conquer.
"The good news is it doesn't require surgery," Pavano said. "I've had this in the past and gotten through it, and obviously I've pitched a lot since then. But as far as I'm concerned this whole season has been a failure on many levels, for myself, for the team. It's just kind of lousy that it took this long. I was pitching through pain and discomfort for so long and it was driving me crazy."
Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said he was "a little surprised" by the new diagnosis, adding, "The thing to do is to rest it, so he's probably done for the year, it sounds like."
The Twins had a similar situation with right-hander Scott Baker, who tried pitching through an elbow injury last spring before getting a second opinion and ultimately Tommy John surgery, from Altchek in April. Asked if the team needs to go back and retrace its steps on how it handled Pavano's case, Antony said, "I don't know if that's a question that I'm supposed to answer, or I can answer, to be honest with you. That's sort of out of my area.
"All I can report on and tell you is what the medical people told me, and that was that he had a bone bruise. That's straight from the doctor. He thought the best thing to do would be to rest it to get rid of it and get over that."