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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Vicente Padilla's Arm Surgery Goes Well

This morning Vicente Padilla had a successful surgery on his forearm which helped eleviate a entrapped radial nerve in his pitching arm. The surgery was described as a 1-inch incision in which they cut away part of the muscle deep in the forearm which is pressing against a nerve. Padilla will travel back to AZ to join his teammates in spring training, but the earliest he will be able to begin throwing again is in 3-4 weeks. Eric Gagne had a similar ulnar nerve entrapment surgery in June 2005, and he missed the rest of the season. But that was a different nerve which was affected, and recovery times vary depending in part on the extent of nerve damage. Padilla told that "I feel like I have a new arm." Vicente began experiencing pain Sunday after a bullpen session, and was flown out to L.A. for an evaluation. Padilla was injury prone last season with similar arm problems and a bulging disc in his neck which caused him to miss 2 months of the season.

Padilla was signed this offseason for a $2 million base salary plus incentives. Ned Colletti's intentions were for him to be a reliever since his injuries were mounting last season. Padilla had said that he wanted to try to break into the starting rotation this season.

The Dodgers have now lost two pitchers before the season has even started. Ronald Belisario's murky wherabouts are still unknown and it is unlikely he will be able to enter the U.S. this season. Luckily the Dodgers picked up some pitching this winter, and the acquisitions of Hawksworth & Guerrier and of course fifth starter Jon Garland seem very smart now. It will be interesting to see who can battle to capture one of the vacancies in the bullpen. Scott Elbert, John Ely, Jon Link, Carlos Monasterios and Travis Schlichting now have a chance to make the team along with some other retreads not even worth mentioning at this point. 

Here's to a speedy recovery for Padilla and for the return of the infamous soap bubble. 

The first exhibtion game is scheduled for this Saturday, and the Sunday's game vs. the Angels will be televised on Prime Ticket at 12:05pm. Stay tuned for more Spring Training news and scores!

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