An Atlanta Braves pitcher’s recent shoulder soreness has been attributed to schedule alterations caused by an operation he had on his urethra this offseason.
Mike Minor, a starting pitcher for the Braves, is slated to earn one of the team’s top rotation spots this season. But the 26-year-old will be forced to start spring training late after a cystoscopy prevented him from throwing over the winter. As a result, Minor’s first few throwing sessions at pre-spring training workouts let to shoulder soreness, which will delay the start of his season.
For the last two years, Minor has experienced difficulty with urination, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. He visited several specialists, none of whom were able to ascertain the cause.
Minor’s problem grew so severe that he had to be hospitalized, the Journal-Constitution reports. Eventually, a specialist at his alma mater, Vanderbilt University in Nashville, attributed the issue to a buildup of scar tissue in the Braves star’s urethra.
On Dec. 31, Minor underwent an operation known as a cystoscopy to remove the excess scar tissue. According to WebMD, a cystoscopy is a test used by doctors to inspect the bladder and the urethra. While the operation can be used to remove kidney stones and growths, the surgery is often used to determine the cause of painful urination, infrequent or overly frequent urination, the inability to urinate or blood in the urine. A full list of the cystoscopy’s uses can be viewed here.
The operation to remove the scar tissue from Minor’s urethra was successful, but the former Vanderbilt star may have to undergo a similar procedure in the future. According to the Journal-Constituion, he was told that the scar tissue has a 50 percent chance of growing back, though such a development is impossible to forecast.
Despite the delay in his training, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez is optimistic that Minor will be ready for the Opening Day. “He could start the season with us, and we think he will,” Gonzalez told the Journal-Constitution. “Because if you look at the schedule, we don’t need a fifth started ill around [April] 10th, 11th, or 12th, right around there. We can bump him back all the way to there, or we can plug him in anywhere we want to.”
In 2013, Minor enjoyed a breakout season, earning 13 wins against 9 losses en route to a 3.21 ERA. He also recorded more than 200 innings of work for the first time in his career.