Kelley has lumps surgically removed from throat

While reliever awaits test results, he hopes to return Sunday or Monday

May 18th, 2019

ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Shawn Kelley is hoping to come off the injured list either Sunday or Monday.

He’ll find out later in the week the results of the biopsy from the two lumps that he had surgically removed from his throat on Thursday. Turns out the reason for Kelley being on the injured list is a little more serious than a simple “infection.”

“I feel good,” Kelley said. “Honestly I am not thinking about it too much. We’ll find out when we find out. But for now, I just want to get back to playing. Physically I feel healthy. My arm feels good, my body feels good.”

Kelley said he started feeling the lumps in his throat/vocal chords area around the beginning of the season and they weren’t going away.

“They kept getting bigger and more uncomfortable and started bothering me sleeping,” Kelley said. “I went on the IL originally to get them biopsied because they have been giving me problems. I guess the biopsy wasn’t conclusive enough, so they decided to remove them and test them. I still don’t know what the results are of what’s in my throat, but it’s out and I’m going to get back to pitching for now.”

Kelley first had the lumps examined while the Rangers were in Pittsburgh May 7 and 8, and that’s when he went on the injured list. The doctors tried to do the first biopsy by removing a sample through a needle but weren’t satisfied with the results.

That’s when surgery was recommended and performed on Thursday by ENT specialists in Mansfield. The lumps will again be biopsied to make sure they are not malignant. Kelley said he does not use tobacco products in any form.

“The doctors their experience, looking at it and feeling it all of that stuff, they don’t seem to be too concerned about it yet,” Kelley said. “They wanted to take them out and be sure. Hopefully they say it’s nothing, just an infected lymph node, something that was irritated, it’s gone and don’t worry about it.”

Kelley last pitched on May 4 and has thrown three bullpen sessions since then. He said the surgical area is a little sore but otherwise insists he is ready to pitch. The Rangers may wait until later in the week before they activate him.

“We are supporting him through it because there is a lot of uncertainty there,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “He doesn’t have the results yet but his mind is a little more at ease. Obviously, we’ll do whatever. We don’t want to rush anything, especially from a mental standpoint. We want to make sure he is comfortable when he gets back here.”