Dodgers’ Jansen expects early return, then offseason surgery
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen expects to have a second heart surgery in the offseason but is confident he’ll be able to come off the disabled list within the next few weeks.
The All-Star reliever, out since Thursday with an irregular heartbeat, rejoined the Dodgers when they returned home Monday and threw a light bullpen. He plans to throw bullpens again on Wednesday and Friday.
The 30-year-old Jansen is scheduled to be re-examined by his physicians next Monday. He said it’s likely he’ll need another ablation procedure on his heart after the season — the right-hander had a similar operation in 2012.
When he was placed on the disabled list last week, it was projected Jansen would miss four to six weeks.
“I’m confident that it’s not going to be four weeks, and it’s not going to be six weeks,” a smiling Jansen said. “(Aug. 20) is going to be the key to listen to what is going to happen. Right now I’m going to keep taking my blood thinners and hopefully there are no side effects from the medication I’m taking, and I am pretty confident I will be back sooner than later.”
Jansen has experienced several episodes with his heart condition in the past. He was prescribed blood thinners in 2011 and missed a month, then missed three weeks the following season with a similar issue.
He said his latest incident occurred at the team hotel in Denver. After breakfast, he felt his heart begin to quiver and eventually called 911. Jansen was transported to a hospital, where he was shocked back into a normal heart rate.
“I feel much better,” he said. “Health-wise, everything feels good. The minute they shocked me back in, I felt better. I feel great just working out again.”
It was the third time Jansen had an episode in the high altitude of Colorado, but said he still plans to return.
“I’m going back to Denver, man,” he said. “I’m going back. You can’t be scared of life.”
Jansen has 32 saves, tied with Colorado’s Wade Davis for the National League lead. Los Angeles began the day a game behind first-place Arizona in the NL West.
Without their star closer, the Dodgers’ bullpen had lost three consecutive games.
“We’re encouraged that it won’t be the four to six weeks,” manager Dave Roberts said.
Jansen said he can start running, and he hopes to be able to do heavy lifting by Wednesday.
NOTES: The Dodgers reinstated reliever Erik Goeddel from the 10-day DL and optioned ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Goeddel missed nine games with right lat inflammation. He is 3-0 with a 3.06 ERA in 30 games with Seattle and Los Angeles this season, holding opponents to a .202 batting average. The 33-year-old Venditte, who pitches with both hands, had an 8.31 ERA in five appearances with the Dodgers.