Twins closer out for season due to shoulder procedure, but comforted by directly addressing lingering issue
By Do-Hyoung Park
MINNEAPOLIS -- After two months of dealing with uncertainty regarding his shoulder injury and the associated rehabilitation, Twins closer Glen Perkins is just glad that his decision to undergo season-ending surgery next week, for what he confirmed is a torn labrum, will offer him some concrete certainty in the situation.
"At some point, you have to say enough is enough, let's get it fixed," Perkins said. "It's frustrating in a way because I know I'm going to miss some time, and it's unknown how I'm going to do when I come back. But at the same time, having some clarity in the situation is comforting."
According to Perkins, he doesn't know for sure how bad the injury is due to the difficulty in evaluating such injuries, but he does know that it is a degenerative issue with posterior and anterior tears of his labrum and some damage to his rotator cuff, something he's dealt with for a long time.
He and Los Angeles-based doctor Neal ElAttrache, who will perform the surgery, will have a better idea of what needs to be fixed and what his prognosis will be once the surgery is actually performed and the extent of the damage can be fully evaluated.
"He'll have full authority to do what he thinks is best once he gets in there," Perkins said. "You can't really do anything other than that.
"We don't even have a surgery date yet, so to put a timeline on when I'm going to come back, not knowing what I'm going to have done and not knowing when I'm going to have it done, it's hard to predict anything. After I get the operation done, we'll have a pretty concrete idea of what I'll be dealing with."
Perkins and the Twins had previously tried to address what he called the feeling of his shoulder "not being stable" with only rehab. However, he didn't feel good when he was playing long toss from 120 feet, and after more setbacks, he and ElAttrache determined that putting off the "last resort" surgery any longer would cause him to push his return beyond his target date of next spring and potentially into the middle of next season.
"That wasn't worth it to me, and so I made the decision that now is the time," Perkins said.
The 33-year-old lefty had pitched in just two games this season, allowing two earned runs in two innings, before going on the disabled list on April 13. The three-time All-Star owns a career 3.83 ERA and 120 saves in 11 seasons -- all with Minnesota.
The surgery is considered a risky one, but Perkins is just grateful that he hasn't had to deal with any substantial arm injuries before this one throughout his lengthy career, and he looks forward to putting these issues behind him for good moving into next year.
"I'm excited at the prospect of hopefully pitching without pain and without discomfort and without some of those things that I've been dealing with for the past couple of months here," he said. "It's a lot of unknowns, but it won't be because I didn't put forth the effort."
• Outfielder Miguel Sano is "a tick ahead of schedule" in his recovery from a hamstring strain that sidelined him on May 31 in Oakland and has pleased the coaching staff with his progress. He took batting practice with the team before Friday's game.
• Manager Paul Molitor said that utility infielder/outfielder Danny Santana will play a reserve role in his return Friday from a hamstring strain and will primarily see action as the team's fourth outfielder, with Byron Buxton continuing to start in center field. Santana will also take ground balls to provide added infield depth where needed.
• Outfielder Darin Mastroianni was scheduled to begin his rehab assignment with the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings on Friday. He was placed on the disabled list on May 25 with a left oblique strain.
Do-Hyoung Park is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.