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Kyle Lohse reportedly needs forearm surgery or a move to the bullpen

May 27, 2010, 11:42 AM EDT

Kyle Lohse met yesterday with a hand and wrist specialist in California and has been diagnosed with “extreme compartment syndrome,” which according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch “is a condition in which the sheath covering a muscle in the pitcher’s forearm fails to allow it to expand.”
Strauss notes that “the condition is more closely associated with distance runners and motocross riders” and “no known precedent exists for the condition” among pitchers.
Or as Lohse put it: “We’re kind of in uncharted territory here.”
There’s no official word yet on Lohse’s status, but Strauss reports that the 31-year-old right-hander will either need surgery or “a permanent role change” involving a move to the bullpen. If he does go under the knife, it would threaten his season with a recovery timetable of at least two months.
Lohse has been dealing with various forearm problems since early last season, going just 3-11 with a 5.61 ERA in 22 starts since returning from his initial stint on the disabled list. “We’re going to have to do something,” Lohse told Strauss. “I’ve tried to pitch with it. But the way it is now, there’s no way.”
Signed to a four-year, $41 million contract extension after going 15-6 with a 3.78 ERA in his first season with the Cardinals in 2008, he’s making $8.75 million this year and is owed another $11.875 million in both 2011 and 2012.

  1. Yeti Monster - May 27, 2010 at 12:11 PM

    Noah Lowry was diagnosed with the same compartment syndrome (http://articles.sfgate.com/2008-03-07/sports/17170236_1_mayo-clinic-surgery-arm) a few years back. Later Lowry’s manager accused the Giants medical staff of a mis-diagnosis, but I’m not sure if the agent was blowing smoke or if he was correct.
    Either way, hopefully Lohse has more success returning than Lowry has had.

  2. Yeti Monster - May 27, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    Lowry’s manager = Lowry’s agent

  3. Nick C - May 27, 2010 at 12:48 PM

    It was later determined that Lowry was not suffering from the extreme/exertional compartment syndrome. He actually had thoracic outlet syndrome. Therefore, we are still in uncharted waters with Lohse.
    http://mlb.fanhouse.com/2009/05/19/noah-lowrys-agent-accuses-the-giants-of-misdiagnosis/

  4. Nick C. - May 27, 2010 at 12:50 PM

    Here is more on the Lowry situation and how it may or may not relate to Lohse:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4877765

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