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Diagnosis good news for Burnett, Jays


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From MLB.com:

 

Diagnosis good news for Burnett, Jays

Right-hander strains scar tissue; no structural damage found

 

TORONTO -- The diagnosis on A.J. Burnett's right elbow turned out to be just as the team suspected. The pain that cut Burnett's start short on Friday was another case of strained scar tissue in his elbow and no structural damage was found during the pitcher's doctor's appointment on Monday.

 

Burnett, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday, flew to Birmingham, Ala., to meet with Dr. James Andrews, the orthropedic surgeon who performed elbow ligament replacement surgery on Burnett in 2003. Pitchers who undergo the Tommy John operation sometimes experience pain related to scar tissue, and Andrews confirmed that when he met with Burnett.

 

According to a statement released by the Blue Jays, Andrews found that Burnett suffered "a mild sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament and a slight straining of scar tissue in the elbow." Those two findings are in line with what happened to Burnett in Spring Training, when he landed on the DL to start the season and needed nearly a month to return to the mound.

 

No timetable has been set for Burnett's return from the DL this time, but after his last start, the right-hander indicated that he wouldn't mind taking the rehabilitation process a bit slower than before.

 

"If I threw five days later last time, why not wait 10-15?" Burnett said on Friday. "Just make sure this thing's out of there for good -- whatever it is. There's a shark floating in there and we have to get it out."

 

On March 18, Burnett left his spring start against the Red Sox after throwing just one pitch in the second inning. Burnett underwent an MRI exam after that scare and the exam revealed no problem with his ligament. Instead, it was just a case of scar tissue breaking off in the elbow.

 

At the time, that was the third MRI exam Burnett had performed on his arm. He had one when he signed a five-year, $55 million deal with the team in December and another exam afterward for insurance purposes. All the tests showed that Burnett's elbow was structurally fine -- same as on Monday.

 

The statement said that Andrews informed Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi that the ligaments in Burnett's elbow were strong.

 

Burnett made his first start of the season on April 14 at Chicago. On Friday, he had to leave the game after just four innings, but he said he was experiencing pain beginning in the third against Boston. He is 0-1 with a 6.30 ERA in those two starts with 10 strikeouts in 10 innings.

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