Mariners' left-hander Charlie Furbush will undergo surgery to repair his partially torn rotator cuff next week. He will be out 12-18 months.
Charlie Furbush’s season is over without ever really beginning.
On Wednesday, the veteran left-hander, who has been sidelined by shoulder issues since July 2015, confirmed he will undergo surgery next week to repair the partially torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder.
Any hopes that Furbush might be a late addition to the Mariners’ bullpen to help in the push for a postseason spot have dissipated. Not that many within the organization were harboring such optimism.
“Tuesday of next week I will have surgery,” Furbush said.
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Mariners team orthopedist Dr. Edward Khalfayan will perform the surgery in Seattle. Furbush also had renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews look at his most recent MRI exam for a second opinion.
“He confirmed it,” Furbush said. “He said that ‘You did all this rehab, and it should be turned around by now.’ “
The recovery for the surgery ranges from 12 to 18 months.
“It can change once you get in there,” he said. “Right now for me, a realistic goal is spring training of 2018.”
Furbush was diagnosed with the partial tear toward the end of the 2015 season. He went on the disabled list on July 9, 2015 with what was called biceps tendinitis. He rehabbed the injury and made multiple attempts to come back, but the arm never felt right. He underwent a MRI in late August, and the tear was revealed.
Furbush chose rehab over surgery. He spent the offseason in Seattle rehabbing and strengthening the shoulder. He was deemed healthy. But once he began throwing off a mound this spring, the shoulder began to ache in the days that followed. He developed pain in the outside of his shoulder.
He underwent “Regenokine Therapy” in hopes of removing the tightness in the lower-deltoid portion of his left shoulder and speed his recovery.
The treatment, which was invented by German orthopedist Dr. Peter Wehling, involves taking a patient’s blood and heating it in an incubator, which is supposed to bring out proteins that reduce inflammation and stimulate cellular growth. The blood is then spun on a centrifuge and later re-injected into the patient’s area of pain. For Furbush, that would be in his upper back/lower shoulder where he’s had persistent tightness since throwing a live batting-practice session March 7.
Furbush started his rehab assignment in July. All signs pointed to a return, but after throwing back to back games, the arm didn’t respond the following day.
“I threw my back to back and had about eight innings under my belt in my rehab appearance, but I just had some achiness in there, he said. “I still had range of option and straighten in the there. But they thought it was a good idea to get another MRI done. It still revealed the same tear I had last year. We decided to move forward and get it fixed.”
Furbush doesn’t regret the failed rehab attempt.
“It is what it is,” he said. “I knew the whole time going into it that the rehab was going to work or I wasn’t. So I just kept it simple as that. I tried to work as hard as I could, unfortunately it didn’t work out. At the end of the day, part of me is somewhat is excited to get this done, because know now this is the real road to recovery.”