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Excellent article on Bedard


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Something we didn't know:

"If I can't pitch, I guess it'll be time to find reality, find a 9-to-5 job in the real world.

"I love the game. If I'm not playing it, I watch it. I'm one of the few guys I know who goes home in October and watches playoff games -- that's how much I love this game."

And a little insight on labrum injuries that is useful the next time we're questioning why surgery on player X wasn't done sooner:

"We knew what it was after the MRI. Surgery was always an option, but you want it to be the last option. You're never 100 per cent sure what'll happen in surgery."

Team doctors, trainers and Bédard agreed to try rehabilitation as the first option, and Bédard began a long, slow climb back to throwing off the mound.

"He played long toss, then shortened the distance and increased the intensity," Griffin said. "He probably threw in the bullpen four or five times. For two months, Erik did everything we asked."

The problem was, Bédard didn't improve enough.

"We tried rehab, and it got better, but it never got good. The pain was less at times, but I always felt it," Bédard said.

This week, the team and its medical staff agreed about the severity of Bédard's injury, and shoulder surgery has been scheduled for Sept. 26.

Why wasn't it done in July?

"Surgery on the labrum is the last option, not the first," Griffin said. "A lot of pitchers have labrum issues, and you might change their mechanics, move them from starting to relieving, try to strengthen it through rehab.

"When you do surgery, you don't know what you're going to find. MRIs give you an idea, but never the complete picture. With that kind of surgery, you're talking anywhere from six to 12 months of rehab before a pitcher can pitch again."

Best-case scenario, Bédard might begin throwing late in spring training. He could miss the entire 2009 season.

Worst-case scenario, the damage is career-ending.

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