LOS ANGELES – Braves reliever Peter Moylan has a bulging disc in his lower back, but he’s confident he will be able to treat it without having a third back surgery in a little over a decade.
The bulging disc in the L5-S1 vertebrae was diagnosed when Moylan had a magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI) exam on Monday in Atlanta. The Aussie sidearmer was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday after he tried pitching through soreness.
“He’s going to get an epidural, and hopefully that works and we’ll see how he is in 15 days,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Moylan, 32, had surgery for a bulging disc in 2001 and again in 2003, when he was out of professional baseball. He said Sunday that he didn’t believe the current injury was as serious because the symptoms weren’t as severe.
After getting the diagnosis Monday, Moylan said he thought he could avoid surgery and come back to pitch this season.
“Very confident,” he said in a text message. “I have all the faith in the Braves medical staff.”
Moylan said he would begin therapy as soon as he gets the shot this week.
He’s an important cog in a strong bullpen, and has been one of the majors’ most durable relievers in three of four seasons with the Braves. Moylan piled up 172 appearances during the 2009-2010 seasons, after having ligament-transplant elbow surgery in 2008.
As a rookie in 2007, he had a 1.80 ERA in 90 innings over 80 appearances.