St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Jaime Garcia will miss at least part of next season if he opts for shoulder surgery, as three orthopedic surgeons have independently recommended, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Friday.
Garcia said after Thursday's 2-1 loss in Game 4 of the NLDS that he might get a fourth opinion orthopedic Dr. James Andrews.
The Cardinals and doctors have encouraged Garcia to seek a remedy as soon as possible because of the need for extended rest and rehabilitation. Surgery on a shoulder joint usually takes about three months of rest before starting rehab. Barring complications, Garcia's estimated return would be sometime in May.
If Garcia requires more extensive repair to his shoulder, such as the rotator cuff, he would likely miss all of next year.
Garcia started Game 2 against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday, but left after two innings. An MRI revealed a strained rotator cuff and inflammation in his throwing shoulder.
Garcia, 26, started 20 games this season, and went 7-7 with a 3.92 ERA.