Curt Schilling, who yesterday returned to Boston to undergo an MRI on his pitching shoulder, this morning said he “just has not felt right this year” and thought that making his next scheduled start Sunday was “a long shot at this point.” Later in the day, he was placed on the 15-day disabled list.
“I’m not picking up a baseball until Friday, I would be surprised [to be starting Sunday]," Schilling said in his weekly appearance on Boston sports radio station WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan program. "I’m not sure what’s going on, but I would think that would be a long shot at this point. But I’m not ruling it out, actually mentally I’m trying to stay right and be ready for it, but I’m not sure that that’s probably best case.”
Schilling said the MRI revealed “no structural damage” and that he received a cortisone shot yesterday. He also said he thought "a little touch of tendinitis" was contributing to his problems.
"We got injected yesterday and there's a period of time here we have to let it sink in, cool down, and then we go,” Schilling said on WEEI. "I'm not exactly sure what day that is. I haven't heard from the doctors yet but I'm guessing it's Friday or Saturday. And then we go from there."
Schilling, who sounded optimistic that he would not be on the shelf for long, said his 100-pitch one-hitter in Oakland earlier this month was not a contributing factor in his shoulder discomfort. He said he hasn’t felt right since just before the season.
"This has been going on, on and off, since late spring training, from a feel standpoint, I just have not felt right this year and it’s had an immense amount of influence on the inconsistency that I’ve gone through, and that's the disappointing part,” he said.
The Sox ace spoke more about the struggles he had in his last start in Atlanta on Monday, in which he gave up six runs in 4 1/3 innings, threw just one pitch faster than 90 miles per hour, and looked so bad that he had Chipper Jones wondering whether he was hurt.
"I wasn't discomfort free [pitching in Atlanta]," Schilling said. "Pain is a relative term. There's been a lot of, this year, trying to discern what's because I'm 40, and what's because I don't feel good, that's been kind of what we've tried to do here."
Schilling was asked which was more of a red flag, the fact that he had discomfort or his inability to get his velocity up over 90 m.p.h. in Atlanta.
"Both,” he said. “It's been going on for some time, from a feel standpoint. It's been one of the things that's really kind of made me struggle mentally with the inconsistency, and just trying to figure out what it is, why it is, what's going on. So, trying to right the ship here before it gets any worse."
Schilling talked about the problems he had loosening up in Atlanta.
"My thought is, from what I've heard, I have a little touch of tendinitis that's causing some other things to happen," Schilling said. "No, I don't really think I've ever been at this point before because the other day ... well my last two starts, I'm throwing the ball, and it's obviously hot and muggy out, 80 degrees with Atlanta humidity and I can't throw the ball. I mean, it's almost like firing out of your stance [as a football lineman does] and trying to block a guy without being able to bring your hands up. I mean I had nothing. And it was a tough one."
Schilling has had shoulder problems in the past, undergoing surgery on his labrum and rotator cuff while with the Phillies in 1995. Schilling said the symptoms he felt Monday were similar to those he experienced in ’95, minus the pain.
"The scary part was the similarities in the innings," Schilling said. "When I tore my labrum in 1995, I was throwing the ball 95 m.p.h. one inning, and the next thing I went out and I was throwing the ball 82 m.p.h. and I didn't have any pain until the next day. The other night, that’s exactly what happened. I could not throw the ball. I could not get anything on the baseball. I was throwing the ball 82 m.p.h. and fortunately I didn't wake up the next day with the pain, so there's none of that. That was an eerie similarity that was playing on my head pretty severely there."
When asked if the best case scenario was that he was going through a dead arm, or a little tendinitis, Schilling replied, “Yeah, sure. Best case is I'm pitching on Sunday, but that doesn't seem like that's going to be the case.”
Listen to the full WEEI interview with Schilling here.
(Last updated: 4:40 p.m.)