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  • Carpenter's career in doubt?

    That's the scuttlebutt from Strauss...

    Carp's career in doubt?
    By Joe Strauss
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    09/23/2008

    Disabled Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter is suffering from career-threatening compression and scarring of a series of nerves feeding his right shoulder, according to sources familiar with his situation.

    Less than a week after undergoing three days of exams administered by a team of local neurologists, Carpenter on Tuesday visited a St. Louis neurosurgeon as another step in formulating treatment. Surgery to alleviate the condition is "very much on the table," said a source.


    Carpenter’s current condition is viewed as more than an isolated instance. Rather, it is believed symptomatic of a problem that has contributed to various nerve complications dating to 2004, when a nerve running to Carpenter’s right biceps shut down, making him unavailable in the postseason.

    The latest complication did play a part in the muscle strain that forced Carpenter from a Sept. 10 start against the Chicago Cubs. Carpenter was diagnosed with a strain of the teres major, a flattened muscle beneath and behind his right shoulder. Doctors believe the strain occurred because of undue stress placed on the muscle as it compensated for several other muscles’ inability to "fire."

    "This is a big deal," according to source close to Carpenter. "If the nerve doesn’t recover, it’s a serious problem. It could prevent him from pitching."

    Carpenter’s condition is believed unique among active major-league players.

    The Cardinals have withheld official comment about Carpenter’s situation, pending a decision on a course of action. Team officials, however, are increasingly unsure about Carpenter’s availability for next season.

    As recently as Monday general manager John Mozeliak and manager Tony La Russa abstained from comment about the situation. The club has stayed largely silent about the matter despite receiving authorization from Carpenter to clarify the issue. Carpenter was at Busch Stadium Monday but did not make himself available to media.

    Carpenter last pitched in a one-inning relief appearance against the Arizona Diamondbacks Sept. 2 but subsequently cited ongoing "weakness" in the area and was shut down.

    A magnetic resonance imaging performed after Carpenter’s abortive August start found no structural damage in either Carpenter’s surgically repaired shoulder or elbow. Persistent weakness led team medical supervisor Dr. George Paletta last week to order an additional MRI of Carpenter’ neck. The imaging found damage to at least five nerves, according to a source familiar with the findings.

    Carpenter has experienced tingling in the pinkie and ring finger on his right hand while also experiencing symptoms typically associated with carpal tunnel syndrome, according to a source.

    At times, the 2005 NL Cy Young Award winner has been unable to fully extend all the fingers on his pitching hand.

    Neurologists have concentrated their focus on the brachial plexus, a bundle or "superhighway" of nerves running from the spine to the neck and beneath the collarbone. The brachial plexus is responsible for firing most of the muscles in the upper arm.

    A nerve conduction study performed last week found that Carpenter’s condition has existed for years rather than weeks or months, according to the source.

    Surgery is not described as radical but would be performed only if neurosurgeons are convinced a significant chance exists for improvement. A recovery of 2-3 months would be typical before Carpenter could resume a throwing program.

    The musculocutaneous was the nerve affected in 2004. It eventually recovered after rest, as Carpenter won 21 games and compiled a 2.83 ERA in 241 2/3 innings during the ’05 season.

    The current problem again revealed itself on a cool night at Wrigley Field. During the fifth inning of his third start since returning from elbow surgery, Carpenter felt a pull behind his right shoulder. He felt the same sensation on the next pitch and summoned head athletic trainer Barry Weinberg and La Russa to the mound.

    The problem is not thought connected to Carpenter’s aggressive rehab from the ligament replacement.

    The club theorizes that Carpenter’s ongoing condition may represent a complication from 2003 surgery to repair his right rotator cuff and labrum while he still played for the Toronto Blue Jays.

    "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
    Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
    -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

  • #2
    IN
    Official Lounge Sponsor of:
    Brett Hull & St. Patricks Day

    Comment


    • #3
      Christ. Any good news coming out of St. Louis today?

      Comment


      • #4
        007 has just been one disappointment after another this month.
        "Whaddya mean I hurt your feelings?"
        "I didn't know you
        had any feelings"

        Comment


        • #5
          Post count!

          "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
          Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
          -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SunuvaNun View Post
            007 has just been one disappointment after another this month.
            For shame!

            "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
            Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
            -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by 007 View Post
              For shame!
              I think it all coincides with you using Cool Cat for your avatar.
              "Whaddya mean I hurt your feelings?"
              "I didn't know you
              had any feelings"

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by SunuvaNun View Post
                007 has just been one disappointment after another this month.
                IN MY PANTS!


                wait...
                If you believe in something sacrifice a hobo to it or don't bother.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SunuvaNun View Post
                  I think it all coincides with you using Cool Cat for your avatar.
                  Shoot me some recommendations since this thread is an IN!...

                  "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
                  Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
                  -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Good times.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      One injury to another.

                      And it's a "unique" one too. Gotta love it.
                      Official Lounge Sponsor
                      Jim Beam, Fun Dip, and Guns 'N Roses

                      2014 TP College Football Pick'em Champion

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SunuvaNun View Post
                        007 has just been one disappointment after another this month.
                        That's what she said.

                        -RBB

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by StlCardz1982 View Post
                          And it's a "unique" one too. Gotta love it.
                          That's what she said.

                          -RBB

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            someone's on a roll...

                            that's what she said?

                            "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
                            Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
                            -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Updated -- surgery seems likely...

                              By Joe Strauss
                              ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                              Wednesday, Sep. 24 2008

                              Disabled Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter is suffering from compression and
                              scarring of a series of nerves feeding his right shoulder, prompting an area
                              thoracic neurosurgeon on Tuesday to recommend the 2005 NL Cy Young Award winner
                              undergo surgery.

                              General manager John Mozeliak confirmed the finding less than a week after
                              Carpenter submitted to three days of tests administered by several local
                              neurologists.

                              Carpenter will consult with another "independent" specialist today and may seek
                              additional opinions. Barring a conflicting diagnosis, the 2005 NL Cy Young
                              Award winner would likely have surgery within the next several weeks.
                              Mozeliak said there is a "reasonable chance for him to be fine with a simple
                              surgery" based on Tuesday’s recommendation.

                              "It was encouraging to us," Mozeliak said of the recent findings.
                              Mozeliak disputed a description of Carpenter’s condition as career-threatening,
                              insisting doctors had assured Carpenter would be able to resume a throwing
                              program within three months of any procedure.

                              Carpenter came away encouraged, saying after his team’s 7-4 win over the
                              Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night at Busch Stadium, "I talked with the
                              specialist today and he seems pretty confident that this is something that can
                              fix what’s going on. And we move on. This nerve issue is old. Obviously I’ve
                              pitched well with it before. We just need to correct what’s going on with it
                              now."

                              Carpenter’s current problem is viewed as more than an isolated instance. It is
                              believed symptomatic of a condition that has contributed to various
                              complications dating to 2004, when a nerve running to Carpenter’s right biceps
                              shut down, making him unavailable in the postseason.

                              "I think it’s different. But I think there are parallels," Mozeliak said.

                              "It seems simple," Carpenter said about potential surgery. "But when you’re
                              going on six of them, if that’s the case, after a while it gets old. Hopefully,
                              we can find a way to get past it."

                              Carpenter said doctors have not termed the problem career-threatening, though
                              it has contributed to several setbacks or shutdowns this year.

                              The latest complication played a part in the muscle strain that forced
                              Carpenter from an Aug. 10 start against the Chicago Cubs. Carpenter was
                              diagnosed with a strain of the teres major, a flattened muscle beneath and
                              behind his right shoulder. Doctors believe the strain occurred because of undue
                              stress placed on the muscle as it compensated for several other muscles’
                              inability to "fire."

                              Manager Tony La Russa had received only a sketch of a diagnosis 15 minutes
                              after Tuesday’s 7-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks but made no attempt to
                              downplay what is at stake.

                              "We’re hearing a lot of things and I’m sure we’re going to be optimistic," he
                              said. "But you’re talking about a guy whose throwing arm is his life and he’s
                              critical to our chances next year. So there’s nothing we’re taking for granted
                              here."

                              Carpenter’s condition is believed unique among active major-league players.
                              Mozeliak thought it premature to make any guarantees regarding Carpenter’s
                              status next season but did say, "Based on how he was throwing the ball before
                              this happened, I would be willing to bet he’ll be someone who will be willing
                              to contribute to the club in a strong way."

                              Carpenter, 33, last pitched in a one-inning relief appearance against the
                              Arizona Diamondbacks Sept. 2 but subsequently cited ongoing "weakness" in the
                              area and was shut down.

                              An MRI performed after Carpenter’s abortive August start found no structural
                              damage in either Carpenter’s surgically repaired shoulder or elbow. Persistent
                              weakness led team medical supervisor Dr. George Paletta last week to order an
                              additional MRI of Carpenter’ neck. The imaging found damage to at least five
                              nerves, according to a source familiar with the findings.

                              Carpenter has experienced tingling in the pinkie and ring finger on his right
                              hand while also complaining of symptoms typically associated with carpal tunnel
                              syndrome, according to a source. At times, Carpenter has been unable to fully
                              extend all the fingers on his pitching hand.

                              Neurologists have focused on the brachial plexus, a bundle or "superhighway" of
                              nerves running from Carpenter’s spine to the neck and beneath the collarbone.

                              The brachial plexus is responsible for firing most of the muscles in the upper
                              arm.

                              A nerve conduction study performed last week found that Carpenter’s condition
                              has existed for years rather than weeks or months.

                              The musculocutaneous nerve was affected in 2004. It eventually recovered after
                              rest, as Carpenter won 21 games and compiled a 2.83 ERA in 2412⁄3 innings
                              during the ’05 season.

                              The current problem again revealed itself on a cool night at Wrigley Field.

                              During the sixth inning of his third start since returning from elbow surgery,
                              Carpenter felt a pull behind his right shoulder. He felt the same sensation on
                              the next pitch and summoned head athletic trainer Barry Weinberg and La Russa
                              to the mound.

                              The problem is not believed connected to Carpenter’s aggressive rehab from
                              ligament replacement surgery. Rather, the club theorizes that Carpenter’s
                              ongoing condition may represent a complication from 2003 surgery to repair his
                              right rotator cuff and labrum while he still played for the Toronto Blue Jays,
                              according to a source familiar with his diagnosis.

                              "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
                              Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
                              -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

                              Comment

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