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03/25/08 7:34 PM ET
Zagurski to seek second opinion
Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery likely for lefty
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Left-hander Michael Zagurski will seek the suggested second opinion, though he's already resigned to the decision. Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery to repair the ulnar nerve in his left elbow looms. "As of right now, yeah," Zagurksi said, on whether he's leaning toward the surgery vs. rehab. "If it's torn, it's torn. I'm not sure what a second opinion is going to [accomplish]. If I rehab and it doesn't work, then I'm three months behind where I could've been and I'd miss the majority of '09." The 25-year-old had been recovering from surgery to repair a torn right hamstring and was making his first appearance in a Minor League intrasquad game. He said he felt something on the "second-to-last warm-up throw, a slider." He tried to pitch but had trouble delivering the ball home. He faced four batters and left the game with athletic trainer Scott Sheridan. Zagurski had an eventful year in 2007. The southpaw began the season with Class A Clearwater and received a quick promotion to Double-A Reading. When injuries decimated the bullpen, the Phillies summoned him to the big leagues. He posted a 5.91 ERA in 25 games with Philadelphia until his season ended in Pittsburgh when he tore his hamstring trying to field a ground ball. "From the ultimate high to a pretty good low," Zagurski said. "I guess you just have to take it for what it's worth." Zagurski will have a support network in Scott Mathieson, who had the procedure on his right elbow in September 2006 and has resumed pitching from a mound. That will help Zagurski along the way, and hopefully prevent him from feeling sorry for himself since good health would've allowed him to compete for a bullpen job. "I did some good things and bad things last year, but I would've had the opportunity to win a job," Zagurski said. "I was bummed that the leg had taken longer than I thought. To go through this isn't what I would've liked."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.