MILWAUKEE -- Brewers ace Jimmy Nelson will undergo surgery on Tuesday in Los Angeles for his season-ending right shoulder injury, but he won't know more about a recovery timetable until after the procedure, the right-hander said.
Dr. Neal ElAttrache will make an assessment of the damage in Nelson's shoulder, which sustained a partially torn labrum and a strained rotator cuff when he dislocated the joint sliding back to first base in a win over the Cubs last week.
"He's one of the best, so I trust his judgement that when he gets in there, he's going to do what's best for my future in the long run," Nelson said.
Nelson called the diagnosis "optimistic news."
"It's not black and white," Nelson said. "He's saying there's a chance that when he gets in there, gets the debris out and everything cleaned out, he might feel like the labrum doesn't need to be fixed, so we can rehab it and I'll be just as good off that way. If that's the case, then obviously I'll be back a lot sooner as opposed to if he were to fix the labrum."
Nelson, who finished with a 3.49 ERA and 199 strikeouts in 29 starts, will be wearing a sling when he rejoins the team next week. He plans to go along for the ride with his teammates as they chase a spot in the postseason.
"Oh yeah, why wouldn't I?" Nelson said. "I can't rehab when I have a sling on. Plus, if I'm with these guys, I'm with our trainers. We have the best facilities there are. There's no better place in my eyes."
Another bullpen option
The Brewers formally called up 28-year-old right-hander Aaron Wilkerson for additional pitching depth ahead of their third "bullpen day" in two weeks. Wilkerson could help cover innings as the Brewers continue navigating games with only three full-extended starting pitchers: Chase Anderson, Zach Davies and Brandon Woodruff.
Wilkerson pitched a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts in Friday night's 10-2 win over the Marlins at Miller Park.
To clear a spot on the full 40-man roster, the Brewers designated infielder Yadiel Rivera for assignment. They also placed Nelson on the 10-day DL, a formality that means Wilkerson will be eligible for the postseason roster should the Brewers get that far.
"It means the world. Look at this place," Wilkerson said after his first day of shagging flies during batting practice. "It's almost surreal right now."
Wilkerson took a unique path to the Major Leagues, undergoing Tommy John surgery after college and working in the frozen foods department of a grocery store in Waco, Texas, before baseball came calling again. He earned a callup by going 11-4 with a 3.16 ERA for Double-A Biloxi, then delivering seven no-hit innings for Triple-A Colorado Springs in its postseason series.
• Wilkerson was not the only callup on Friday. The Brewers also brought in Triple-A manager Rick Sweet for the remainder of the season, a reward, in part, for leading the SkySox to the postseason for the first time since 1997.