Despite the ominous revelation of pitcher Zach Britton visiting the renowned Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday, it appears the Orioles received encouraging news regarding the left shoulder inflammation that’s plagued him since last August.
The 24-year-old southpaw will avoid surgery for now, instead undergoing Platelet Rich Plasma therapy in hopes of calming the inflammation, according to reports from Sarasota. Britton received an injection upon visiting Andrews and will be sidelined for a week to 10 days. In many cases, PRP therapy involves a series of injections over a given period of time, but it’s unclear what the specific plan of action or timetable for a return will be for Britton.
“He’s real smart and he’s seen thousands of shoulders,” Britton told AM 1570 WNST prior to his appointment with Andrews. “He’s got a lot of background. He’s dealt with this before, so any advice that he can give us on how to treat this [will help] or maybe he’s seen it before and he’s like, ‘Hey, this is something simple [to treat].’”
Britton will not be ready for the start of the season in just over two weeks, but a visit to the famous orthopedist for a second opinion has often resulted in the need for surgery for countless pitchers over the years.
Britton went 11-11 with a 4.61 earned run average in his rookie season, which included a stint on the disabled list due to shoulder soreness in August. He had hoped to win the competition to become the Orioles’ Opening Day starter, but Britton will instead focus on working his way back to 100 percent before taking the hill at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
“I think resting is going to be the big key,” Britton said. “If it was affecting my velocity and certain other things, I’d be worried, but it’s not. My velocity is where it should be at this point, and it really hasn’t affected anything other than really just being uncomfortable.”
Britton says the inflammation hasn’t had an adverse effect on his pitching mechanics but has messed with his range of motion at times.
“I think it’s more frustrating than anything,” Britton said before receiving Andrews’ plan of action. “I don’t have any tear in my shoulder, which is really good news.”
To hear Zach Britton’s entire conversation with WNST.net’s Glenn Clark, click HERE.