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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Giants closer Wilson likely done for season

Eight games into the 2012 season, the Giants have suffered a potentially devastating injury. Closer Brian Wilson is facing likely elbow surgery and might be lost for the season.

An MRI on Friday night revealed that Wilson has “structural issues” with the ligament in his right elbow, manager Bruce Bochy said Saturday before the team’s game at AT&T Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Wilson has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, but he’s probably going to be out a lot longer.

After a 32-pitch inning against Colorado on Thursday in which he struggled to get the save during a 4-2 Giants’ win, Wilson complained of elbow stiffness Friday. Subsequent tests revealed structural damage, to what degree the club was not yet prepared to say.

Bochy and trainer Dave Groeschner said Wilson would be examined by team orthopedist Dr. Ken Akizuki and that calls then would be made to set up second and third opinions, including from noted Pensacola, Fla., elbow surgeon Dr. James Andrews, before making a final decision about surgery.

The manager did not sound optimistic.

“After the tests (Friday), it doesn’t look very good right now,” Bochy said. “He’ll get a couple more opinions, but he’s likely facing surgery, to be honest.”

There have been questions about Wilson’s health since he blew a save in a 5-4 walk-off loss to Atlanta on Aug. 15. Wilson was examined by Andrews two days later and placed on the disabled list Aug. 21 with inflammation in the elbow. He was reinstated Sept. 18 but appeared in just two games before being shut down for the remainder of the season.

During spring training, Wilson said the late-season shutdown was done for precautionary reasons and that there were no issues with the elbow.

“I am healthy, and I’m doing everything I can to make sure everyone is aware of that,” he said March 26. “(The elbow) wasn’t a concern for me.”

Wilson, who turned 30 last month, made six appearances in spring training, throwing 5.1 innings with no earned runs allowed, two walks and eight strikeouts.

He made his regular-season debut Wednesday, pitching the eighth inning of a 17-8 loss in Denver. He gave up a run on one hit and one walk, throwing 24 pitches.

Wilson’s second outing of the season was even more difficult. He loaded the bases and walked in a run before preserving a 4-2 victory. At one point, Bochy and Groeschner, along with catcher Buster Posey, came out to check on Wilson. He took a warm-up pitch and finished the game, and afterward, Bochy said Wilson had tweaked his left ankle. His velocity declined noticeably during the inning.

Groeschner said the elbow issue became apparent Friday afternoon when Wilson went through his pregame routine.

“Even though he was off, he still had to throw and prepare,” the trainer said. “That’s when he came and talked to us.”

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