Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Looking at Girardi's eyes tonight when asked about Phil Hughes said it all. Yes, he chose his words wisely but let's be clear, Joe Girardi has never been straight with the media about any injury that has come the Yankees way, serious or not. Hell, I'm not even sure I believe him when he says Tex has a sore shoulder. I worry it could be something more. But, back to what I meant to write about... Phil Hughes.

This kid is a gamer and this kid had the best season as a starter in his career last year and right now, it seems as though everything is about to change for the worse. Yes, I'm jumping the gun, but the reality is, you never want to hear that a player is going to a "specialist". Just like you never want to hear that a player is going to see Dr. Andrews, because if they do, it usually means surgery.Hughes is about to go visit Dr. William Thompson in St. Louis for something that Girardi said Hughes "May or may not have." Sure Joe... sure. It's called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and in a nutshell, The overhead movement of the arm changes the orientation of the clavicle (collar bone) in such a manner that it may compress the brachial plexus (the nerve bundle the leads into the arm from the neck) and/or the subclavian artery and vein against the first rib.

Different occupations have people that have been bothered by this injury, one of which being baseball pitchers. You can read about the treatment, according to Wikipedia: "About 10 to 15% of patients undergo surgical decompression following an appropriate trial of conservative therapy, most often specific physical therapy directed towards the treatment of thoracic outlet syndrome, and usually lasting between 6 and 12 months. Surgical treatment may include removal of anomalous muscles, removal of the native anterior and/or middle scalene muscles, removal of the first rib or, if present, a cervical rib, or neurolysis (removal of fibrous tissue from the brachial plexus). Surgical treatment for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome does have serious life long risk. A good number of individuals suffer moderate to severe post operative complications and worsening or returning of symptoms post first rib resection. This unfortunate portion of this patient population is often left out of most articles and abandoned by the TOS medical community."

Did your eyes gloss over? Mine did. Point is IF Hughes has this, recovery takes while if surgery is needed, that my friends is a serious blow the rotation, plus this poor kid is down for the count again and that's a blow to everything he's accomplished. It just sucks. Tell me what you think? Should the Yankees have acted sooner or did they do the right thing in handling Phil Hughes "dead arm" issue? I want to hear from you, comment, please.

Please comment and let me know what you think and follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and join the group Bleeding Yankee Blue on Facebook, just type it in.


  1. I don't know if they could have acted any sooner. Hughes also had velocity issues last season, and many players have periods of dead arm in their careers.

    Also, Hughes slowed down last season, so you don't know whether he was working through mechanics issues, or if he was actually pitching injured.

    They're damned if they baby along pitchers, and they're damned if they don't shut them down soon enough and force surgery. It's a lose lose.

  2. They acted conservatively and correctly.

    Now it will be up to Phil to make some VERY difficult decisions if this turns out to be a diagnosis.

    If it were me, I'd be seeing 3-4 people for opinion if this is confirmed.

    Remove a rib?


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