Mariners' reliever Charlie Furbush isn't throwing and isn't certain when he will be able to resume. The status for the lefty specialist -- "in a holding pattern."
PEORIA, Ariz. — Charlie Furbush can only wait. The Mariners left-handed relief specialist isn’t throwing now and isn’t sure when he will begin throwing again.
“Right now, I’m in a holding pattern,” he said. “I’m just waiting to see what the best plan is from the doctor’s perspective moving forward. He’s figuring out what the next step is.”
Furbush’s spring training has been sidetracked by tightness in the back of his shoulder. After missing the second half of last season with what was later diagnosed as a minor tear of the rotator cuff, he spent the offseason rehabbing the injury, eschewing surgery. The Mariners began Furbush’s throwing program in January, but had him wait until pitchers and catcher’s reported to spring training before having him throw off the mound.
Even with the early slow-played progression, Furbush still seemed on track to be ready for opening day. He looked sharp in his second live batting practice session on March 7 and said he felt ready for Cactus League games. However, the tightness in the back of his arm appeared in the days that followed. Even with treatment and days off from throwing, the tightness has returned after Furbush had extensive throwing sessions.
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“It’s the lower deltoid area,” he said. “It’s still not quite there yet. It’s just something I would like to go away. Once that little tightness goes away, I should be good.”
Furbush is currently receiving treatment and massage therapy on the tight area, but has yet to resume throwing. There is a chance he’ll go another Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) test as a precaution.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the route just to get some more clarity,” he said. “It’s unfortunate I won’t be ready for opening day. But we are just going to keep pushing.”
Furbush is hoping that the tightness will subside and he can begin playing catch again.
“I haven’t played catch in two days now,” he said. “I feel ready to play catch. But I think they’re just trying to make sure what the game plan is moving forward and getting a time line so I will know what the next three or four weeks look like.”
Even if Furbush were to resume throwing soon, he would have start the process over and build back up. He would also need a series of rehab appearances to get him ready. The timetable could be a month, if not longer.
“It’s one of those things that you have to be smart about,” Furbush said. “I feel like I know myself and my body well enough to know what I need to do to be ready and where I’m at. It’s the life of a pitcher right now. I just have to remain patient.”