A two-week stint on the disabled list did little to help Jair Jurrjens’ sore right knee, and now he’s planning to travel to Vail, Colo. to get a second opinion from noted knee specialist Dr. Richard Steadman. An MRI taken on it Wednesday revealed a bone bruise.
Jurrjens was scheduled to pitch on Sunday against the Dodgers, but that’s doubtful now. The Braves held back Randall Delgado in Triple-A Gwinnett so he can pitch in that spot if necessary. Then they still have Julio Teheran available to pitch the second game of the doubleheader in New York on Sept. 8.
Jurrjens said his concern now is not finishing the regular season but being ready for the postseason. This same knee kept him out of the postseason a year ago.
“My main concern right now is the playoffs,” Jurrjens said. “I’m not really worried about the season anymore.…If I can take a couple days off and get a second opinion and see if I can go out there and be fine. (I want to) do whatever we need to do to get me out there to perform like I want to.”
Jurrjens was still finalizing plans to see Steadman but tentatively planned to fly out to his Vail clinic on Saturday for an examination on Sunday.
When Jurrjens went on the disabled list Aug. 6, he was told his knee was inflamed, which was a normal reaction to the arthroscopic surgery he had last October for a torn meniscus. Jurrjens had a second MRI Wednesday which revealed the bone bruise but no tears in his meniscus. But Jurrjens said it’s still giving him significant pain pushing off on pitches.
His velocity has dropped on both his fastball and his slider. His slider was well off its normal pace on Tuesday night – in the mid to upper 70s – when he gave up six runs in six innings against the Nationals Tuesday. His fastball only occasionally ventures into the low 90s.
“It’s getting a little frustrating getting beat, not even having good stuff,” Jurrjens said. “… Off and on during the season I’ve had soreness there, I was able to go out and pitch. But in the second half, the soreness began to get a little stronger, so I’m not able to push off like I want to. I’m trying to get an answer for it and see what’s out there for me to do.”
Jurrjens is 1-3 with a 5.88 since the All-Star break after going 12-3 with a 1.87 ERA before it. He has lost twice in three starts since returning from the DL, while allowing 11 runs in 18 1/3 innings.