Angels lefty Wilson to have season-ending elbow surgery
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Los Angeles Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson will have season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs in his ailing left elbow, a significant blow to his club’s playoff aspirations.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced Wilson’s decision before Thursday night’s game against the Royals in Kansas City. Los Angeles began the day two games back of the Houston Astros in the AL West and 1 1/2 games up on the Tampa Bay Rays for the final wild-card spot.
"When you first shut down a pitcher, you’re obviously hoping that it would be short term and he’d able to regain his form to go out there," Scioscia said. "I had no idea what direction this was going to go — could be surgical, could be rest, could be a lot of things."
Wilson went on the disabled list July 31 with inflammation. He recently got a second opinion on his elbow from Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic, and decided surgery — rather than rest — would give him the best chance of being healthy by spring training.
"After seeing the doctors, I’m sure they laid out that option (to rest)," Scioscia said, "but it’s pretty apparent he needs the surgery."
Wilson has dealt with bone spurs for much of his career, and had similar procedures to clean out his elbow in 2008 and 2012. He bounced back successfully on both occasions.
The two-time All-Star was 8-8 with a 3.89 ERA in 21 starts this season, the fourth of a five-year, $77.5 million contract. Wilson is due to make $20 million in the final year.
"The timetable is he should be ready for spring. What that translates into a normal spring training, I don’t know," Scioscia said. "Obviously, there is some rehab time involved."
In other injury news, shortstop Erick Aybar was scratched from the starting lineup about an hour before the first pitch with tightness in his lower back.
Aybar, who is hitting .273 with two homers and 35 RBIs, was supposed to bat sixth in the lineup against Kansas City. He was replaced by Taylor Featherston, batting ninth.