09/30/09 8:55 PM ET
Moyer to have season-ending surgery
MRI reveals tears in left-hander's groin and abdomen
By David Gurian-Peck / MLB.com
Moyer limped off the mound in the seventh inning after he felt a sharp pain and pop in his left leg. An MRI exam on Wednesday revealed a torn lower abdominal muscle and two torn groin muscles. Moyer met with specialist Bill Meyers later on Wednesday, and he agreed with the Phillies medical staff that surgery is the best course.
The 46-year-old veteran will undergo the procedure within the next 7-10 days.
"Non-operative treatment is one that really wouldn't allow these tendons to heal well enough that he could generate the force that he'd need and the velocity that he'd need from his legs up to be able to pitch at an elite level," team physician Michael Ciccotti said.
Ciccotti said that it is atypical to suffer so many tears simultaneously.
Moyer has had no history of hip problems over his 23-year career, and no symptoms before Tuesday.
He felt some slight tightness several pitches before the pop. But nearly all of the damage was done on his 24th pitch of the night and final one of 2009. Moyer told Ciccotti that there was not an awkward landing or any problem with his footwork.
Approximately 90-95 percent of all pitchers return to pre-injury performance levels, according to Ciccotti, who did not think that Moyer's advanced age would prolong a recovery timetable.
"This is an injury that does occur in all ages, and the results are pretty consistent, regardless of the age group," Ciccotti said.
Still, these three torn muscles close the book on Moyer's disappointing season. His 16-9 record and 3.71 ERA in 2008 were good enough to earn baseball's oldest player a two-year, $13 million extension.
Yet he struggled in '09 and lost his rotation spot once the Phillies signed and activated Pedro Martinez. Pitching out of the bullpen, Moyer shaved half a run off his ERA, but he still finished 12-10 with a 4.94 ERA and a .279 opponents' average in 30 games.
David Gurian-Peck is an associate reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.