LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers starting pitcher Jon Garland will undergo exploratory surgery Monday on his right shoulder and is lost for the rest of the season.
Trainer Stan Conte said doctors will perform a cleanup at the least, as MRIs have long indicated that the 31-year-old Garland has been pitching with labrum and rotator cuff damage that would be expected from a pitcher with 2,083 Major League innings. Garland has been on the disabled list since June 2, having made nine starts and gone 1-5 with a 4.33 ERA.
Conte said Dr. Neal ElAttrache indicated a six-month recovery is expected, unless more serious damage is found. Garland also had a second opinion by Angels team doctor Lewis Yocum. Conte wouldn't speculate if the surgery was career-threatening, although that always could be the case for a pitcher.
"Shoulder surgery for a Major League pitcher is serious stuff," said Conte. "He tried rest and therapy and couldn't progress without pain. That gave us no choice. Jon has had a great career staying off the DL, but there's a lot of mileage on that shoulder."
The Dodgers signed Garland for $5 million to be their fifth starter and an innings-eater, as he'd been throughout a 12-year career. But they couldn't have been totally blindsided by the injury, as the contract they gave him included a 2012 option for $8 million that would vest if he threw 190 innings and was not on the disabled list in September with an injury to his right arm.
The Dodgers already have lost reliever Vicente Padilla for the season to neck surgery. Garland's place in the rotation has been taken by rookie Rubby De La Rosa.