SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A's right-hander Jarrod Parker, on the verge of undergoing his fourth elbow surgery, says "there's no doubt" he will try to pitch again.
Addressing reporters for the first time since refracturing the medial epicondyle in his right elbow Monday, Parker spoke of his intentions to submerge himself in yet another lengthy and grueling rehab process.
"I think I've put in enough effort and I can put in more effort to continue to give myself chances," Parker said.
Parker, 27, is more than two years removed from his last big league start, a postseason outing against the Tigers that further cemented his place as one of the game's most promising pitchers. Injuries have derailed each of his comeback attempts since.
Parker was rehabbing from his second Tommy John surgery last year when he suffered the first fracture to his elbow. The second occurred earlier this month while he was facing hitters, leading to a visit with Los Angeles-based Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who will perform the procedure April 1.
The intricacies of the surgery, which could potentially involve a third ulnar collateral ligament repair, won't be known until it's orchestrated, but ElAttrache, who has operated on Kobe Bryant and Zack Greinke, is renowned for his cutting-edge methods.
"From what I understand with medical stuff and the technique he's using, it's what's needed at this point," Parker said. "I think nobody ever expected my elbow to be in a situation where we had to use a different technique ... so going forward, I think it's the right choice and we're doing the right thing, just getting it done and moving on."
If able to return to a big league mound, Parker would be the first to do so following a fracture of the medial epicondyle. But the pitcher, who has put forth admirable efforts during each of his rehabs, doesn't concern himself with the odds.
"They're the experts and, moving forward, I just have to keep the same attitude I've had and push through it just like the last couple times," he said. "I'm always realizing that it could be worse. It's still a game. I'm a grown man playing a kid's game and have the chance to do that. There's always a lot worse that can happen, whether it's in this game or outside of baseball."
"I try to put myself in the other person's shoes, and I can't even imagine going through what he's going through," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "It's tough to even comprehend. I don't know how anyone standing here could understand how he's feeling, but I think today he was pretty honest in how he's feeling, and going forward we'll support him and see how he feels after he starts rehabbing it, too."