Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

McClellan out for the Season; Notebook; He Was Recovering from Sore Elbow, Learned He Needed Shoulder Surgery

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

McClellan out for the Season; Notebook; He Was Recovering from Sore Elbow, Learned He Needed Shoulder Surgery

Article excerpt

Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday looked across the clubhouse Thursday and saw a certain righthanded pitcher with a sling on his arm.

"What happened to (Kyle) McClellan?" he asked a reporter.

When the answer was given, Holliday replied, "Shoulder surgery?

"Nobody rehabs their elbow and shows up having shoulder surgery," Holliday said.

Or, as general manager John Mozeliak said, ruefully, "Not a good sign."

McClellan had been out for nearly two months trying to rehab a balky elbow, but he explained Thursday that a shoulder problem he encountered 13 months ago actually had been at the root of the decision to send him to the operating table.

On Tuesday, Dr. George Paletta, the Cardinals' medical supervisor, repaired frayed cartilage in the shoulder and a capsule problem. McClellan said he was told he would be out four months, but should be ready by next opening day.

McClellan said the shoulder problem got worse through the 2011 season. He was left off the roster for two playoff rounds last October. He said a magnetic resonance imaging examination in the offseason showed that he had some labrum damage, "which every pitcher in here has. It depends on whether you can pitch with it or not."

"But because of the position I couldn't get my shoulder in, I ended up putting my elbow at risk," said the 28-year-old McClellan. "I couldn't get my elbow above my shoulder - and anybody who knows pitching mechanics knows that's a must."

After going on the disabled list on May 18 and then rehabbing his elbow for six weeks, McClellan, who already had two elbow surgeries while he was in the minors, thought he was making some progress and that his elbow "felt great.

"But the third time I threw, it was the same (shoulder) thing."

McClellan said he had an X-ray taken of the joint on Monday, suggesting surgery was needed Tuesday, and during the course of that surgery Paletta discovered that the shoulder capsule also was split.

"That was where the majority of the pain was coming from," McClellan said. But he also said the capsule split hadn't shown up on the original MRI.

"It's not a major repair, but something had to be done," said McClellan, who was 0-1 with a 5.30 earned-run average in 16 games this season after going 12-7 as a valuable swing man last year.


Pitcher Adam Wainwright, after an up-and-down first half of the season that was more "up" at the end, will open the second half tonight at Cincinnati.

He said he had put his first-half performance (7-8 record, 4.56 ERA) behind him, to be reviewed only for the learning experiences it offered, "and I'm going to start from scratch.

"There's a lot of things in the first half that I'd liked to have done a whole lot better," Wainwright said. "I wasn't satisfied by any means with my first half. That's a throwaway for me. …

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