Tim Wakefield will get a cortisone injection tomorrow to fend off lingering pain in his lower back. Talking to reporters before this afternoon’s game, he said he was surprised to have the pain return after initially feeling the discomfort in July. He said the pain struck in the middle of his start Wednesday against the White Sox, a 3-2 win.
“I felt it during the game, like in the third inning,” he said. “I felt my hip kind of cramp up, but I was able to kind of pitch through it, I think ’cause of the adrenaline, and I was warm and everything. The next day it was just sore. Then just the same symptoms as
it was in Texas, it was just getting worse and worse.
“I don’t think there’s anything I did during the game that would provoke this injury to come back or the feeling that I had to come back. There’s a fragmented piece that’s floating in there, like a bone spur. It’s irritating in there, and it’s a matter of getting that to the right position where it’s not going to bother me anymore. Hopefully the cortisone shot will do that.”
Wakefield said that if the shot works he hopes to be pitching in about a week.
“I think we’re going to be a little bit more aggressive with it this time than last time,” he said. “I get the shot Monday, maybe start playing catch on Wednesday, and see how it feels. Doesn’t feel good, then we’ll wait another day, and then make a decision then.”
Unable to get the 43-year-old pitcher any treatment with clinics being closed over the weekend, Sox manager Terry Francona sent Wakefield home yesterday.
“What we did last night was we actually sent him home before the game,” Francona said. “We wanted to get him medicated and not driving. So we sent him home and I have not seen him yet this morning. He’s all set tomorrow to go get looked at and do what we need to do.”
Wakefield said he was feeling better today.
“Yesterday, it was pretty bad,” he said. “I got out of bed, I couldn’t even stand up straight. It’s a cause of concern when I called and told them that, I had told them the day before that I’d try my best to make the start on Tuesday, but I don’t know in my mind that I thought I could do it Thursday. Friday came around it’s gotten worse, I don’t know if I can make it. Then made the decision yesterday to skip my start and hopefully I can slide back in there in the next week or so.”
Taking the mound for the first time since July 8, Wakefield tossed seven strong innings, allowing just one run on six hits in a 3-2 win over the White Sox.
“It’s tough to not be able to contribute like I want to,” Wakefield said. “I’m doing the best
I can to try to get back on the field as fast as possible because I know they’re running out of time. We’re in the middle of a pennant race here. Along with our training staff, the doctors, I’m doing what I can to try to get back out there.”
Wakefield acknowledged that the possibility of surgery looms over him in the offseason.
“I think surgery is inevitable in this situation,” he said. “It’s not a complete disc-ectomy. I think it’s a situation where they’re going to have to go in there and just pull that spur out or that piece out. I think that in itself will relieve a lot of the symptoms, and you know it’s not a huge deal where I’m going to be on the shelf rehabbing for two months. It’s more of a two-week type thing, let the wound of the surgery heal up, and we’re ready to go … ”
“We’ll have to get some more information on it, but probably yes. I mean I’m going to try to avoid it as much as possible. If the symptoms are gone by the end of the season and we do an MRI and it’s not there anymore then I would say it’s not going to happen.”