Beckett to undergo surgery, likely out for season

Beckett to undergo surgery, likely out for season

Beckett to undergo surgery, likely out for season

LOS ANGELES -- Josh Beckett likely won't pitch again this season for the Dodgers.

Beckett, diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, will undergo surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve in his neck area. The right-hander will have the procedure on the week of July 8. Dr. Greg Pearl will perform the operation in Dallas.

Beckett's recovery is expected to take between three to five months, according to the Dodgers.

Beckett has been dealing with numbness and tingling in his pitching hand since Spring Training. He was 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA in eight starts this year when put on the disabled list May 14. Beckett resumed throwing earlier this week, but suffered a setback while playing catch on Friday.

"I know he had some tingling after throwing, and he hadn't been throwing very long," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said before Saturday's game against the Phillies. Beckett consulted with team physician Neal ElAttrache and Pearl before deciding to undergo surgery. The procedure involves removing an upper rib that compresses nerve tissue near the neck and shoulder.

Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter underwent the same procedure last July and returned in time to pitch in the postseason. But he has not pitched this season. Beckett said earlier this month that he had spoken to Carpenter about his condition.

With Beckett unlikely to return to the rotation this season, right-hander Stephen Fife is likely to remain with the club. The Dodgers also hope left-hander Ted Lilly returns from the disabled list in July. Lilly is scheduled to make a rehab start with Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga on Sunday.

The Dodgers also are without starter Chad Billingsley, who had season-ending surgery on his right elbow in April. Reliever Scott Elbert is also done for the year following Tommy John surgery in June.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.