Last spring, Tyson Ross looked poised for an ace-caliber season. After a disastrous opening day start, shoulder issues plagued him for the remainder of the season. At long last, doctors have diagnosed him with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. On Thursday the 13th, he will go under the knife to address the issue that likely derailed his entire 2016 season.
What was first called “shoulder inflammation” sent Ross to the Disabled List after that fateful opening day. Numerous promising attempts at rehabilitation resulted in shutdown after shutdown. A difficult condition to properly diagnose, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is a condition where the bundle of nerves that pass through the space between the collarbone and the top rib are impinged by the bones, muscles, and other structures in that area, causing a litany of nebulous symptoms. Typical primary treatments include anti-inflammatory medications and soft tissue work, but if symptoms persist, a procedure has been developed to surgically reduce the pressure on the nerves and other tissues in the area. The procedure has been most famously successful on former Padre Chris Young, while other successful cases are Mets pitcher Matt Harvey and two-time Padre Clayton Richard.
The procedure will be conducted by Dr. Robert Thompson, who operated on the three pitchers noted above, and he is considered the foremost expert on the procedure. A forecasted recovery of four to six months leaves a chance that Ross could be ready for action by opening day 2016. While this is a better prognosis than, say, Tommy John surgery, it’s still an invasive procedure which presents a challenging road back to the mound.
In other news. Jarred Cosart’s elbow procedure to remove loose bodies in his throwing elbow has been postponed to next week due to the Dodgers’ pushing their playoff series with the Nationals to a fifth game. Cosart’s procedure will be performed by Neal ElAttrache, who is the Dodger’s team physician. Cosart’s recovery is expected to be much quicker, hopefully having him back up to speed well in advance of next February’s reporting date.