Moylan has bulging disc, hopes to avoid surgery

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.

10 comments Add your comment


April 18th, 2011
9:05 pm

Good chance for Ascencio. He is ready, I believe.

Voice of Reason

April 18th, 2011
9:05 pm

Are Moylan’s prior back problems the reason he throws sidearm?


April 18th, 2011
9:12 pm

VoR: yes they are.

Wat Wat Wat

April 18th, 2011
9:22 pm

Who will the braves rely upon until moylan gets healthy?

His inducing of double plays has been key to many braves victories.

I hope he gets well soon. Not good news.


April 18th, 2011
9:29 pm

I can say from personal experience that an epidural probably isn’t going to help. I have bad L4 & L5 discs, was suffereing real bad siatica and had 2 shots to the spine. They sucked…and didn’t help. It’s basically a pinched nerve and purdy much just has to work itself out. Good luck Peter…we need you!


April 18th, 2011
9:42 pm

the McKenzie method ( is pretty much the gold standard in relieving back pain from disc-related pathology. Epidurals are dangerous and just a “band-aid” before real healing begins.


April 18th, 2011
9:49 pm

Time to go to the chiro!

Matt the Brave

April 19th, 2011
12:05 am

I know that if Moy gets his back worked on, it’ll put him out of commission for a lot of the season, but I think that sometimes its more important to have someone healthy and at 100% later in the year than try to battle through all season and not be as effective. We have some good options within our system for relievers, and it’d be like getting a great pitcher later in the season to bolster our pen!

[...] O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Moylan hopes to avoid going under the knife for what would be his third back surgery following [...]


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