By Erin K. Blakeley, Shoulder1 Staff
Just when things couldn’t get any bleaker for the Pittsburgh Pirates, they are dealt another crushing blow: Adrian Brown’s season may be about to end. The center fielder will likely require surgery to repair the torn labrum in his right shoulder. While the final decision is yet to be made, Pirates team doctors estimate a 90 percent probability that the surgery will happen.
The labrum is a circle of soft tissue that surrounds the head of the humerous, or the arm bone, at the point it fits into the glenoid, which is the cup-like groove of the shoulder bone. The labrum helps to ensure a tighter fit at this intersection and stabilizes the joint. A torn labrum increases a person’s chance of dislocating the shoulder. In addition, it could cause the shoulder to “catch” in certain positions of rotation. When a labral tear persists, an orthopedic surgeon may decide to operate to remove or repair part of the tissue.
Brown likely injured his shoulder during spring training. The Pirates placed Brown on the 15-day disabled list on April 17th, citing tendonitis in his shoulder. While the injury does not affect the way he swings his bat, it has severely hampered his throwing. After sending Brown down to Double AA for rehabilitation, the Pirates pulled him from play when his throwing did not improve.
The ailing Pirates will certainly miss Brown in the line-up. The starting center fielder batted better than .300 last year in the leadoff spot and is their fastest player, as well as a formidable outfielder. Already battling the worst record in the National League, the Pirates hold on to the unlikelihood that Brown will recover without the surgery.