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Pettibone has shoulder tear, but no surgery for now

Triple-A righty, who might've helped with Lee on DL, prescribed cortisone shot, rest

MIAMI -- Phillies Triple-A right-hander Jonathan Pettibone has a small tear in his right shoulder, but for now, the treatment is a cortisone injection and rest.

Pettibone received a second opinion on his injured shoulder from noted orthopedist Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday, and Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said there was no difference in the original diagnosis. Pettibone was presented with three options: have exploratory surgery, received a PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injection or receive a cortisone injection.

This is Pettibone's second cortisone injection this year. He received his first in February.

"He's going to rest it until [May 31] and then start a throwing program," Amaro said. "I don't have any timeline after that. It'll just depend on how he feels, how he's progressing."

But it is a SLAP tear (Superior Labrum Anterior to Posterior), which can be serious.

"It depends on the player and how big it is," Amaro said. "It's not a big one. It's pretty small. But it's uncomfortable for him. You pitch to comfort. ... They can get better. You can strengthen the muscles and tissue around it. Some of them do and some of them don't."

Pettibone's shoulder is a legitimate concern, because this is the third time he has had to stop pitching in less than a year because of it. He finished last season on the disabled list before falling behind schedule in Spring Training because of shoulder pain.

His health also becomes more important with Cliff Lee on the DL with a left elbow injury.

"We'll see how he manages through it," Amaro said of Pettibone. "Who was the closer from Cleveland we passed on [before the 2007 season]? Joe Borowski. He had a full thickness tear in his labrum and he pitched through it. A lot of it depends on the pitcher and the comfort."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for
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