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Brandon League chooses rest & rehab for shoulder over surgery

Rich Pilling/Getty Images

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers relief pitcher Brandon League will miss eight weeks after being diagnosed with right posterior shoulder inflammation, an option he chose over surgery that would have kept him out longer.

"I feel like crap. You work three, four months in the offseason to avoid this stuff. The fact that you get this news, after I felt the best I felt ever coming into spring training, is devastating," League said on Saturday. "But I'm past that point now. I had my time to sulk on the hour flight."

League flew to Las Vegas to meet with Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Friday to discuss the MRI results of League's shoulder, which showed no difference from the MRI he took when signing his three-year contract with the Dodgers in November 2012, other than normal wear and tear.

ElAttrache was in Vegas for a conference, where Dr. James Andrews also was. Andrews gave League his second opinion, reviewing the MRI results in the lobby of the Wynn Hotel. The results were also shipped to shoulder specialist Dr. David Altchek, who has operated on Dwight Gooden and John Santana among others.

The other option for League was arthroscopic surgery and general clean up on his shoulder, which would have kept him out longer than eight weeks. He said after trying to rush back after a cortisone injection in his shoulder this spring in an effort to be ready for opening day, League would give rest and rehabilitation a proper try.

"I was racking my brain a little bit before I jumped on the plane, going through every scenario possible," League said. "The best case scenario is this eight-week rehab stint. If I had to miss some time, I picked the least amount. Scoping didn't make sense because I didn't give myself the full chance to heal."

League will likely be placed on the 60-day disabled list to start the season, ensuring he'll be unavailable until at least May 25. He said he would like to stay with the team to rehab and that he's over the initial disappointment and is focused on returning to the mound.

"I have my goals in mind, and I'm pretty good at reaching them," League said.