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M. Gonzo case of "deadarm"

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Postby screwyinstlouie » Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:55 am

excerpt from 8/29/06 article in Pittsbugh Post-Gazette by Dejan Kovacevic...
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06241/717159-63.stm

Mike Gonzalez and Tom Gorzelanny probably will not pitch again this season after tests yesterday showed each has tendinitis in his left elbow.

The Pirates' official stance is that, while each was placed on the 15-day disabled list, neither is being ruled out for the final five weeks. And that certainly was the view being embraced by the players.

Asked if he expects to return, Gonzalez replied: "I definitely do."...

Gorzelanny was no less emphatic: "Oh, I'll be pitching."

But the reality, two team sources with knowledge of the situation said, is that the risk of bringing the players back so late in the season will not be worth it and that they would have to make remarkable progress for it to be considered.

Manager Jim Tracy expressed guarded optimism.

"Hopefully, we'll have them both pitching again," he said. "We're very, very encouraged by the results we got. Both came out clean."

Gonzalez and Gorzelanny were taken yesterday to Allegheny General Hospital for an arthrogram, a procedure in which dye is injected into the affected area to enhance the examination's images. On each count, the test showed no ligament damage, which had been the chief concern.

That was the positive. The downside was the time element.

Neither pitcher can resume a throwing program until the dye dissipates, and that can take several days. From there, they would need to rebuild arm strength and have a rehabilitation stint in the minor leagues, which would consume another two weeks and reach into mid-September. The season ends Oct. 1.

By all accounts, Gonzalez's case was seen as the more serious of the two.

He recorded three dominant saves -- nine batters, nine outs, six strikeouts -- in as many nights last week. The last of those came Thursday night at PNC Park, after which he complained to the athletic trainers about a tingling feeling in his pinky finger.

"I never felt something like that before," Gonzalez said.

He was rested the next two days and told the trainers he felt fine Sunday morning. But a soft-tossing session that afternoon exposed more discomfort, and the test was scheduled.

Gonzalez, 28, has 24 saves in as many chances in his first season as the Pirates' closer.

"I'm disappointed that I'm going to be out for this time," Gonzalez said. "But, if it's going to get me better and let me finish out the year, I'm fine with that."...
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Postby The Big Train » Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:05 am

MLB.com

ST. LOUIS -- Mike Gonzalez does not want to hear any talk about his season being over.

In fact, the Pirates closer believes he can be back on the mound closing out games by the time the Bucs return to Pittsburgh for their next homestand.

"Definitely not," Gonzalez replied when asked if he thought his season was over. "I definitely want to finish at least the last two and a half weeks strong."

Gonzalez is expected to throw off the mound Monday or Tuesday for the first time since being shut down due to elbow tendinitis following his save against the Astros on Aug. 24.

"I'm banking on that," said Gonzalez. "[The elbow] feels pretty good, and I don't see myself going another two days without throwing."

Gonzalez doesn't believe it will take him long to build up his arm strength once he begins the throwing program.

"I just need a few days," said Gonzalez. "Once I start throwing, I'll need maybe two or three days, throw a bullpen, take a day off and let's get back to work."

Gonzalez certainly isn't content with going 24-for-24 in save opportunities during his first full season as a closer. The southpaw still believes he has something left to prove in 2006.

"I'd much rather finish the season [with people saying], 'He had a good year,' instead of 'He had a good year and he finished on the DL,'" said Gonzalez. "I definitely don't want that. It would leave a sour taste in my mouth for the whole offseason."

Pirates manager Jim Tracy gave the impression he expects to see Gonzalez on the mound again this season. On Saturday, the Bucs skipper said he likely would ease Gonzalez back into the closer role by letting him pitch an outing or two in non-save situations.
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