The A’s received relatively good news on the injury front Monday regarding right-hander Jarrod Parker.
An MRI on the pitcher’s elbow revealed that he has a right forearm strain, an injury that will require rest but not surgery. He’s expected to be fine for spring training.
Fellow starter Sonny Gray also had an MRI that revealed he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his left (non-throwing) thumb while fielding a comebacker in Game 5 of the American League Division Series. X-rays previously had revealed just a fracture in the thumb. Gray said he will have surgery Thursday in Cleveland, to be performed by Dr. Thomas Graham.
The timetable for recovery is 8 to 10 weeks, meaning Gray should be ready in plenty of time for spring training.
“It will just be a long off-season with no video games or golf,” Gray said over the phone.
Right fielder Josh Reddick will have arthroscopic surgery to repair a sprained right wrist that landed him on the disabled list twice during the season. He will first consult with Dr. Mark Belsky, a Massachusetts-based hand specialist who performed surgery on Reddick’s left wrist in November 2011. Reddick should also be fine by the time camp starts.
As for Parker, he reported feeling tightness in his elbow late in the season, a warning sign for a pitcher who missed the entire 2010 season after having elbow ligament replacement (Tommy John) surgery while in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.
The fact that the MRI showed just the forearm strain and no elbow damage bodes well. But expect the A’s to monitor Parker’s condition closely. Fellow A’s pitcher Brett Anderson was diagnosed with a forearm strain during the 2010 season, but he continued to experience elbow problems and eventually required Tommy John surgery in July 2011.