Apr 28, 2011, 10:45 AM EST
Joe Thatcher was a key part of the Padres’ excellent bullpen last season, making 65 appearances as a left-handed specialist while logging 35 innings with a 1.29 ERA and 45/7 K/BB ratio.
He began this season on the disabled list with a strained shoulder and the Padres announced yesterday that the 28-year-old left-hander will need arthroscopic surgery.
Thatcher told Don Norcross of the San Diego Union Tribune that he’s hoping the labrum damage is minimal, in which case he might be able to return late in the season, but if labrum reconstruction is required he’s looking at a return timetable of 9-12 months and a potentially career-altering recovery.
Norcross notes that Thatcher allowed just one run in his final 40 appearances last season, but he’s been sidelined since the middle of spring training and took three cortisone shots in an effort to heal the injury through rest and rehab.
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