Urias feeling 'really good' after shoulder surgery

Urias feeling 'really good' after shoulder surgery

PHOENIX -- One of the reasons the Dodgers traded for starting pitcher Yu Darvish last week walked into the clubhouse at Chase Field on Wednesday.

Julio Urias came by to see the team he can't help in October, speaking with the media for the first time about his season-ending anterior shoulder capsule surgery.

"It was hard. No baseball player wants to have a surgery like that," said Urias, who underwent the reconstructive surgery June 27, with an estimated return time of 12 to 14 months. "I had a lot of emotions. You feel sadness, you feel angry, everything goes through your head. You think about your career and everything you've done to get to that point. I tried to get out of that stage as quickly as I could and now I feel motivated to work every day."

Urias said Dr. Neal ElAttrache told him the damage was minimal. He said there's no timetable on his return -- "When God wants to and when I'm ready" -- but he's confident he will be at least as good as before the surgery, when he was ranked by MLBPipeline.com as the No. 4 prospect in MLB coming into the season.

"I'm not scared," he said. "I'm thinking positively 100 percent. I'm thinking about coming back, maybe even better if I put in the work. I'm not worried about being the same player. After a month and a couple days, I feel really good."

The Dodgers experimented with Urias early in the season, hoping to have him fresh late in the season, as they did a year ago when he went 5-2 with a 3.39 ERA and started in the postseason. They throttled him back as Spring Training neared an end, even though he pitched well enough to be in the season-opening rotation, and then sent him to the Minor Leagues.

But in a June 10 start for Triple-A Oklahoma City, Urias felt a "tugging" on a specific pitch. He pitched two more innings, hitting 96 and 97 mph, but was stiff the next morning. An MRI revealed the damage.

Urias said fellow Mexican pitchers have been supportive and offered suggestions on rehabbing, specifically good friend Oliver Perez of the Washington Nationals.

"Sometimes when your fellow countryman reaches out, it sends the message even clearer and brings a positive attitude," he said. "I'm really close to Perez -- we train in the offseason -- and he reached out and he's helped me be positive."

In other rehab news, Clayton Kershaw (lower back strain) will throw his first bullpen session Friday at Dodger Stadium. Andre Ethier will begin a rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday, but won't be activated until Sept. 1, when rosters expand.

The Dodgers also learned pitcher Luke Farrell was claimed by Cincinnati.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.