CLEVELAND -- Tigers reliever Fernando Rodney visited noted orthopedist Dr. James Andrews and came out without a prescription for surgery, yielding yet another surprising development in the mystery of why Rodney can't seem to get his shoulder healthy enough to pitch.
This time, though, it's a pleasant surprise.
Rodney had an appointment with Dr. Andrews on Wednesday afternoon in Birmingham, Ala. to have a second opinion on his shoulder, after being shut down from throwing four times over the last month and a half. After examining Rodney, Dr. Andrews came to the same conclusion that Tigers medical officials did last month, that there's nothing structurally wrong in Rodney's ailing right shoulder.
"He's one of the top [specialists] in the country," team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said Wednesday night. "[Dr. Andrews] said he just would not feel comfortable going in and doing any type of surgery whatsoever, from all the tests that he has. He said he just can't recommend that."
That's good news for Rodney, whose shoulder problems date back to a stint on the disabled list last season with tendinitis. He threw successfully off of a mound last Saturday without pain, but was shut down again when his next bullpen session Monday brought back the shoulder pain.
Instead of surgery, Rodney received an anti-inflammatory injection. He'll be rested for 3-5 days, at which point he will be cleared to resume throwing. And the ongoing quest to get Rodney pitching again will resume.
"It's a relief in that he doesn't have to have surgery," Dombrowski said, "but I'll be more relieved when he can pitch."
Rodney has not pitched to a batter yet this year, in a game or simulated setting.
The hope now is that the news gives Rodney some peace of mind in his health.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.