Price relieved to not need surgery on 'very unique' elbow

March 4th, 2017

BRADENTON, Fla. -- During his one-day visit to Indianapolis, was told by two of the most prominent orthopedic surgeons that he has a "very unique" left elbow.

The five-time All-Star was visibly relieved as he spoke to reporters in Fort Myers on Saturday morning about the fact he has dodged season-ending surgery. The belief is that rest and rehab will be enough for Price to return to action for the Red Sox in the not-too-distant future.

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The injury to Price's left forearm, according to Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Neal ElAttrache, is muscular in nature and the MCL ligament is not damaged.

"[They told me] that I have a very unique elbow, and I've heard that before but not from guys that have done the surgeries they've done and looked at as many elbows as they've looked at. So just to hear it from those two guys, it felt good," said Price.

Though it certainly seems possible Price will start the season on the disabled list, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said no decisions have been made. No timetable has been set for his return to action.

"We haven't even discussed that at this point," Dombrowski said. "I mean, if he's down a week. ... He's already been built up to pitch in a game so we've been careful not to even get into that point. As I told him, when I talked to him on the phone, that's not the most important part for us at this time. The more important part is to get him where he feels good and ready to go and whatever that time frame may be."

All that has been decided is that Price will take medication for the next seven to 10 days and won't throw the baseball during that time. But there's no guarantee Price will start throwing again once that time period expires.

"I'm not putting a timetable on it," said Price. "If we say 7-10 days and if I'm not out there in 10 days, I'm sure that's going to be the next story. And if I'm not there in five days, that'll be the next story as well. So there is no timetable. There is no '7-10 days,' so just go ahead and disregard that.

"I'll know when I feel good enough to go out there and throw a baseball, and I'll know when I need to back it down or whatever I need to do. [The doctors said] to listen to my body and that's something I've talked about for a while. That's something I think I do a pretty good job of. We have a very good training staff here and they'll get me back out there."

The Indianapolis experience -- where the NFL Scouting Combine was taking place -- was unique for Price.

The doctors found some downtime during the Combine and came to the hotel suite of Price's agent to perform the exam.

"It was pretty big league, I feel like," said Price. "I don't know how much that happens, but just to have two of the best elbow guys in our hotel room, that was pretty neat."

Red Sox fans weren't the only ones fearing the worst before Price's dual second opinions.

"No, [the doctors] expected it to be a lot worse than what it was," said Price. "That was both of them -- they said it multiple times. They said, 'We expected this to be a lot worse then what it really is.' Everything that they said, honestly, I don't feel like that that meeting could have went any better. I don't look at this to be anything too serious.

"Everything that they said, honestly, couldn't have went any better. It was almost like I paid them to tell me the stuff that I wanted to hear. That obviously wasn't the case but it was a good meeting, just to hear it from those two guys."

Even if Price misses some time, the Red Sox still have a strong rotation of Chris Sale, , , and .

"It's probably the best-case scenario that could have come out of the exam," said manager John Farrell. "But we also have to remain with some cautious optimism here because he's in a shutdown period and it will be great to see when he finally puts a ball back in his hand and begins that process. At least initially, this was really good news."