Closer Must Remain Inactive
By Ben Bolch, Times Staff Writer
While the severity of Troy Percival's injuries remained unknown Saturday, the Angel closer said he had been told to remain inactive for the next week to 10 days, meaning he might not be ready for a speedy return from the 15-day disabled list even in a best-case scenario.
"We have to wait and get all the information out, and once we do that, then we can concentrate on trying to strengthen the area," said Percival, put on the disabled list Friday after being diagnosed with degenerative changes in his hip joint and a strained right gluteus muscle. "I don't know exactly what the plan is."
Percival is expected today to discuss the results of an examination and MRI test with Dr. Lewis Yocum, the Angels' medical director, and the team could seek a second opinion because the hip injury is considered unusual.
While an injury described as degenerative might sound worrisome, General Manager Bill Stoneman cautioned not to "take anything away from that particular word and apply it to anything because it can cover a wide range. We're just going to have to find out as much as we can about it and react accordingly."
Manager Mike Scioscia said many players compete despite degenerative changes in their joints.
"Every pitcher in that [clubhouse] has degenerative changes in their shoulder," he said. "Every catcher has degenerative changes in their knees. This game, you degenerate. I'm not minimizing what happened to Percy, because, yeah, we are concerned, but the other side of the coin is there are guys" who play through it.
Percival said he hadn't thought his injuries would necessitate a stint on the disabled list because he had pitched through pain before. "This wasn't all that painful," he said, "it was just real difficult to pitch without my base underneath me."
Percival suffered the injuries Tuesday while warming up in the bullpen, when his hip "gave out" and he stumbled to the ground.
He thought the injuries were minimal until Thursday, when he came in to face the Baltimore Orioles during a save situation and felt his hip pop out of its joint again. He then surrendered a grand slam.
Percival said going on the disabled list was especially disappointing because he felt he was pitching better than last year, when he converted 40 of 44 save opportunities. He had converted all seven save opportunities this season before Thursday.
* Steroid induced record