Cardinals righthander Chris Carpenter has not pitched since the World Series. He had some trouble during spring training and was shut down, and has made tentative steps toward returning, only to have a setback each time. Now, there appears to be yet another setback:
Carp diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Will attempt to pitch through it, then likely undergo offseason procedure, says GM Mozeliak.
— Jenifer Langosch (@LangoschMLB) June 29, 2012
Personally, I had no idea what this was before I saw this tweet. Off to the Google, whose first result is from the US National Library of Medicine:
Thoracic outlet syndrome is a rare condition that involves pain in the neck and shoulder, numbness and tingling of the fingers, and a weak grip. The thoracic outlet is the area between the rib cage and collar bone.
All right, now we’re getting somewhere. What’s the prognosis?
Having the first rib removed and the fibrous bands broken may relieve symptoms in certain patients. Surgery can be successful in 50% to 80% of patients. Conservative approaches using physical therapy are helpful for many patients.
None of this sounds good. I am not a doctor (obviously), but that link doesn’t seem to indicate any swift return to the pitching mound for Carpenter.