http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cct ... 501.htm?1c
Posted on Sat, May. 15, 2004
Team mystified over Nen
• Trainer Conte isn't sure what to do next after the closer's latest setback
SAN FRANCISCO -- It was only three weeks ago that the Giants were so pleased with the progress of closer Robb Nen that they were considering activating him before a three-game weekend series in Los Angeles.
Now, the team once again is at a loss, wondering if and when Nen will pitch again.
Nen, who is attempting to battle back from three shoulder surgeries since November 2002, had another setback this week when he was unable to simply play catch without pain. Nen played catch Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and felt discomfort in his shoulder each time.
Trainer Stan Conte intimated that rest may be the only option left for Nen. He said the team has tried almost everything else but may decide to continue to push Nen's rehab as well.
"We're really not progressing at this point," Conte said. "We have to decide if we want to push it or back off. Pushing it hasn't worked so far. Maybe at some point in time you have to leave it up to Mother Nature."
Nen was ready to come back for that Los Angeles series but suffered a setback during a bullpen session the day before. He took time off before trying to play catch this week.
Conte said the team likely will decide Nen's course of action by the end of the weekend.
"It's tough when you start to feel pretty good then you don't do as well as expected," Nen said. "It's kind of a letdown."
Nen hasn't pitched since the 2002 World Series, and Conte essentially said Nen is feeling the same pain he felt back then. Conte is trying so hard to find the right solution he even suggested to Nen that he simply just try pitching in a game.
"We talked about him going out there knowing it could be his last game," Conte said. "I thought maybe the adrenaline might be enough to get him over the hump. I'd just hate to see him end it on the training room table."
Nen, who has said all along that he won't come back unless he can help the team in the manner he always has, didn't go for Conte's idea.
"I don't want to come back to be applauded," Nen said. "I don't want to be saluted by the fans or my teammates. I want to come back to be a part of the team."
There's no way he comes back this year (or probably ever). At least not in any kind of dominant role.