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Dr. Lewis Yocum advises rehab over surgery for Jake Arrieta

Sep 29, 2010, 5:15 PM EDT

Orioles rookie Jake Arrieta was tentatively scheduled to have a bone spur removed from his elbow this week, but instead he sought a second opinion from renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lewis Yocum, who advised him to rehab rather than going under the knife.
Obviously avoiding surgery is always the preference, particularly for a 24-year-old pitcher, but generally speaking the removal of a bone spur is considered a minor procedure with few long-term risks associated. Dozens of big-league pitchers have it done every season without much fanfare.
According to Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com, after looking at the MRI results Yocum concluded that the bone spur “doesn’t hamper him at all.” Arrieta finishes his rookie campaign with a 4.66 ERA and 52/48 K/BB ratio in 100 innings spread over 18 starts. Assuming that Yocum is right, Arrieta will have a full-time spot in the Orioles’ rotation next season.

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