June 24, 2008 / 12:29 AM / 11 years ago

Schilling gets career lifeline with shoulder surgery

Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling tips his cap to fans in the sixth inning of Game 2 of the World Series in Boston October 25, 2007. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

BOSTON (Reuters) - Veteran Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling underwent shoulder surgery on Monday and could resume throwing within four months, according to his surgeon.

Dr. Craig Morgan found no significant rotator cuff damage after performing almost two hours of surgery on Schilling’s right shoulder.

“The status of the rotator cuff was much better than was predicted,” Morgan was quoted as saying in the Boston Globe. “He did have disease in the biceps tendon, that was his major problem. We transferred the biceps tendon.

“(He had an) unusual tear of the rotator cuff, small partial thickness, no separation from the bone. Small undersurface tear. What we didn’t want to find is a big rotator cuff tear, because that’s a long rehab.”

Morgan repaired both the tendon and labrum before offering the 41-year-old Schilling hope of extending his career.

“About four months to a throwing program, if he decides he wants to pursue that,” Morgan said.

“The rehab after this will be very similar to the rehab that he went through in 1995 when he had the SLAP (surgery to repair a labral tear and to remove a bone spur). But he was 28 then, he’s 41 now. We don’t have anything to fix that one.”

Schilling indicated last week that he could try to return in 2009 if the surgery was successful and he felt strong enough, but he did not rule out retirement.

The right-hander has won 216 Major League games during his 21-year career, helping the Arizona Diamondbacks win the World Series in 2001 and the Boston Red Sox take the title in 2004 and 2007.

Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Edina, Minnesota; Editing by Ed Osmond

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