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[LA TIMES] Dodgers can hope, but can’t completely count on Hyun-Jin Ryu for 2016

December 18, 2015

 

Ryu Hyun-jin posted on Instagram a photo and video of himself doing a long-toss at Dodger Stadium Thursday. He said he felt good after being stretched out to about 30 yards for the first time since the surgery.   (Instagram photo)

Ryu Hyun-jin posted on Instagram a photo and video of himself doing a long-toss at Dodger Stadium Thursday. He said he felt good after being stretched out to about 30 yards for the first time since the surgery. (Instagram photo)

[LOS ANGELES TIMES] – Hyun-jin Ryu had his labrum repaired in May, and at one time that would be near a death knell for a pitcher. Los Angeles Dodgers physician Neal ElAttrache once described shoulder problems like trying to put together a jig-saw puzzle without the cover box photo to guide you.

Baseball is littered with pitchers who failed to successfully return to prominence following labrum surgery – Brandon Webb, Rob Nen, Ben Sheets, Chad Cordero, Jason Schmidt, Mark Prior. But increased knowledge and improved technique in recent years have stirred greater success in labrum surgery.

ElAttrache, who performed the labrum repair on Ryu in May, was part of a study published five years ago that showed that of pitchers who had labrum surgery in concert with rotator cuff repair, only 57% returned to their previous level. But of pitchers without rotator cuff issues who needed only labrum repair – like Ryu – over 80% returned to their previous level.

So at some point the odds strongly suggest Ryu will return to at least close to his former self. If he lights up the radar gun one or two mph slower, it should not dramatically affect his throwing.

That still leaves a nearly 20% chance he won’t come all the way back… [READ MORE]

 

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