LOS ANGELES -- Two weeks after shoulder surgery, Dodgers pitcher Jon Garland was upbeat Monday about his recovery and career future.
"I'm excited," said Garland, sporting four arthroscopic incisions after Dr. Neal ElAttrache performed a debridement of the labrum and bursa and cleaned up and reinforced the rotator cuff.
Garland was told he could start throwing after three months and resume competition in six months. He said he would probably delay the start of that timetable by one extra month, which would put him on target to be ready for the start of Spring Training.
Although the workhorse right-hander has 2,083 1/3 innings in 12 seasons, he's only 31, and now that his shoulder has been cleaned out and tuned up without requiring anything radical, he expects to be pitching next year.
The Dodgers will pay Garland a $500,000 buyout rather than pick up an $8 million option for 2012, and he will be a free agent.
"I was very satisfied with what the doctor said," Garland said. "He's upbeat. The labrum was almost pristine. The cuff was a little worse than he thought, but a lot of what he found was just scar tissue and bursitis. He shaved down the bone so things move smoothly. A layoff like this can only help the rest of my body."
He had his arm in a sling for five days and his early rehab has centered on range of motion exercise with no resistance.
"If there's a difference at this point," he said, "it's that with everything cleaned out, it feels a lot freer with more room in there. I'll know more when I'm able to lift my arm above my head."