Profar to undergo right shoulder surgery, could miss season
Recovery timetable unknown until after procedure
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers infielder Jurickson Profar's year-long attempt to heal a strained muscle in his right shoulder without surgery has come to an end.
Profar, once one of the top prospects in baseball, will undergo surgery on Monday in Arlington and there is a possibility that for the second straight year he could be out for an entire season.
Profar has a partially torn labrum in the shoulder. The injury occurred in 2010 and Profar had been able to play with it without any problems. But the medical opinion now is that the tear is causing instability in the shoulder and aggravating a strained teres major muscle in the back of the shoulder, which is what has kept Profar out for an entire year.
"We won't have a timetable until after the surgery," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Thursday. "Realistically the best-case scenario is to have him playing by the end of the season. Obviously we feel first and foremost for Jurickson. He worked hard and was in tremendous shape. He worked hard and gave rehab every possible chance to succeed. He did everything he could, it just didn't work out."
Profar was diagnosed with the strained muscle in Spring Training last year. Normally a strained teres major muscle heals without surgery, but Profar had two setbacks since then, one in May and again in September. That's why the torn labrum is now being considered as the cause of the problem, but Dr. Keith Meister will investigate other issues during the actual surgery on Monday.
"The strain that was showing up is something that heals and very rarely reoccurs," Daniels said. "Now we're seeing a different issue in the shoulder. He had the tear in 2010 and played without issues. It wasn't connected, the two issues, right away. We all wish we had seen that earlier or put two and two together."
After the September setback, Profar was examined further by Meister, as well as noted orthopedists Dr. James Andrews and Neal ElAttrache. At the time, surgery was considered because of instability in the shoulder. But Profar wanted to try one more winter rehabilitation program to avoid the procedure and be ready for the start of the season.
"It's a very personal decision," Daniels said. "Everybody collaborated, the medical staff, the baseball staff, player, family, agent. Ultimately it's up to the player ... his body, ultimately his call. We wanted to make sure he had as much information as possible. This isn't Tommy John surgery when it's black and white. There are shades of gray and he made the decision."
Profar was progressing well this winter and underwent an MRI every three weeks to make sure the shoulder was holding up well. But once he stretched out to 105 feet, the latest MRI on Tuesday showed increased strain in the muscle. Throwing at 105 feet was the same point Profar had the setbacks in May and September of last year.
The Rangers were hoping Profar would be ready to start the season playing regularly at Triple-A Round Rock and make up for lost time. Daniels said they will wait until after the surgery before discussing what the future holds.
There is still some unknown about how much this will affect his arm strength over the course of his career.
"He has not forgotten his ability or how to play the game," Daniels said. "My expectation if the surgery goes well and the shoulder recovers, he'll be back and be the same player he was before the injury. As far as the arm strength, we'll see how it plays out."