Bad news for the defending World Champion Cardinals, as Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com is reporting today that starting pitcher Chris Carpenter will undergo surgery on July 19th for thoracic outlet syndrome, and miss three to six months.
The disorder caused numbness in Carpenter's arm, shoulder, and face, and he didn't throw a pitch until June, when he was put on a throwing program. Carpenter's schedule bullpen session yesterday was cancelled, and everyone immediately assumed the worst…which ended up being what happened. The surgery for Carpenter's issue will involve removing one of Carpenter's ribs, as well as a pair of muscles in his neck. A number of players in the league have had thoracic outlet syndrome, including Matt Harrison and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Most notably, JR Richard had a stroke after his syndrome went undiagnosed.
This is just another setback in the career of Carpenter, and might be just another step towards the end. He's under contract fot 2013, but will be 38 at the end of April. Carpenter missed nearly all of the 2007 and 2008 seasons with the Cardinals after winning the NL Cy Young in 2005, and he also missed most of 2002 and all of 2003 with the Blue Jays. He's had both shoulder and elbow injuries throughout his career, having surgery for both a torn labrum and Tommy John surgery. Carpenter was a member of both the 2006 and 2011 Cardinals World Championship teams, and also was the 2009 NL Comeback Player of the Year.
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