Well here’s exactly what you didn’t want to hear. Mike Cormack of Sportsnet passes along a clip from this morning’s Brady and Lang show on the Fan 590, in which Casey Janssen dropped by. Here’s what the Jays’ closer laid on us when the subject of his off-season shoulder “clean-up” arose:
“I’m feeling good. I’m not 100% just yet, but, again, having a little bit of extra time in the spring is going to help. I’m going to use every bit of the spring to get to that 100% level. But, as far as I’m concerned, I think April 2nd is very, very realistic, and things are going good.”
He’s choice of words makes it seem like he’s certainly looking at the glass half full here, and I don’t want to overblow this, but the implication that Opening Day is merely “realistic”– even if “very, very realistic”– is at least a little bit troubling. Right?
As I explained in the wake of the surprise press release from the Jays, two weeks after the surgery was actually completed, the joint that was operated on– his AC joint– “is at the top of the shoulder, linking the collarbone to the shoulder blade, not ‘inside,’ and the procedure appears– exactly as the release says– to be more about clearing cartilage for the purpose of pain relief than actual shoulder function. It is done arthroscopically, not by opening the shoulder up, which means that the recovery time is far shorter than if there were a problem with the labrum or the rotator cuff.”
So… perhaps I only have myself, and my downplaying of the surgery at the time, to blame for being a bit surprised today to hear that all is not quite right. Then again, all I said was that the recovery time is far shorter than with labrum or rotator cuff surgeries, and given that those are often measured in years, I suppose you could say he’s comfortably on track.
In fact, an example I used in the post at the time was that of Mariano Rivera, who had the same surgery following the 2008 season. We can see from an MLB.com post from the following spring that the Yankee great’s surgery had taken place in October– so at least two weeks earlier than Janssen’s– and by March 5th he was still only “throwing at about 85-90 percent of full speed,” and looking at almost another two weeks before getting into game action.
By that measure, if April 2nd is realistic, maybe we can say Janssen is actually doing pretty good. At this point, I guess only time will tell. I mean… what am I, a doctor?
And hey! At least it means we’ve got a new spring storyline to follow. Albeit, y’know, one we maybe totally don’t fucking need in the slightest right now. Though after reading the Rivera stuff, I must say, my jangled nerves are somewhat soothed. He made a pretty full recovery, as I seem to recall.