SARASOTA, Fla. - Zach Britton is convinced that he knows what isn’t wrong with his left shoulder. The trick is finding out what’s causing the inflammation.
Britton hopes to get a definitive answer on Wednesday when he’s examined by Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla.
“I just want to get someone else to look at it,” he said. “We’ve done treatment since August on it and some of the same issues keep popping back up, so I want to see what he has to say. Obviously, he’s seen thousands of shoulders, so maybe he can give us a better idea of what we need to do to make this go away.”
Britton conceded that he’s probably going to start the season on the disabled list, which means he’ll stay back at extended spring training. He’s hoping to be ready by the middle of April.
“Unless things are perfect tomorrow, I talk to Andrews and he doesn’t see anything, then maybe (he can avoid the DL), but as of right now, I’m going to take the cautious stance of I’d rather be ready at the middle of April, end of April then start the season with the team and then, all of the sudden, two weeks, three weeks later, we’re dealing with this situation again,” he said.
“I just want to get it taken care of right now, and if it costs me a couple weeks, so be it.”
Andrews will study the MRI taken on Britton’s shoulder back on Feb. 8.
“It’s the last-case scenario,” Britton said. “Obviously, Dr. (John) Wilckens has been working with me for a while. And just to have somebody else to look at it. They’ve kind of been working together. They’ve already talked on the phone today.
“Obviously, I don’t want to do it. I want to be on the field pitching. I don’t want to go waste time and see doctors, but it’s kind of what we have to do.”
Darren O’Day threw a bullpen session today and appears to be recovered from the strained groin muscle that’s kept him out of a game since March 8. He’ll pitch Thursday in a minor league game.
“I’m excited to get back out there and compete,” O’Day said. “I feel good. I’m working on a couple things with Rick (Adair) while we’re making sure that I’m healthy, and my (pitchers fielding practice) went well. Good stuff.
“I was able to throw the day after and everything, so I didn’t lose any arm conditioning. It’s just a matter of making sure I feel good.”
O’Day has pitched twice this spring. He estimated that he’d be ready for the April 6 opener if he got into four or five games.
“I’ll probably get more than that,” he said. “I’ll probably need to go back-to-back at least once. Maybe an inning-plus once. I should still have plenty of time.”