Tommy Hanson came away from a visit with Dr. James Andrews encouraged about the state of his right shoulder and was cleared to begin rehabbing again. He’s has no timetable on a possible return, but Hanson said he could begin some light throwing in a matter of a few days.
A dye-contrasted MRI taken on Friday showed that Hanson has a small “undersurface” rotator cuff tear, which typically doesn’t require surgery. Hanson said Andrews just called it normal wear and tear for a pitcher when Hanson visited him in his Pensacola, Fla. office on Monday.
“Andrews said there are a lot of guys that are way worse off than me,” said Hanson, who was told by Braves orthopedic surgeon Xavier Duralde that 75 percent of pitchers have something similar. “Just hearing it’s normal wear and tear (that) just for whatever reason got inflamed definitely gives me some peace of mind and I’m a lot happier after seeing (Andrews) than I was over the weekend.”
Hanson last pitched on Aug. 6 against the Mets before going on the disabled list with his second bout of shoulder tendinitis this season.
With less than 30 games to go in the season, things would have to progress well for him to return, but Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said the Braves are still hopeful he might pitch again after a couple of weeks.
“I’m optimistic,” Gonzalez said. “I’d love to have Tommy after two weeks are up or 16 days or nine days or whatever it is.”
Hanson said it is something he’s going to take day-by-day and see how he progresses. Unlike his return from the DL in June, he doesn’t want to rush back and have it flare up again.
“I want to get back as soon as possible, but at the same time I’ve got to be smart and I don’t want to have another setback,” Hanson said. “I’ve got to continue to work and take it a little bit slower and try to get back as soon as I can.”