Madison Bumgarner does not need surgery. That doesn’t mean that he’ll be back next week, and it doesn’t mean that we can exhale entirely, but the worst-case scenario isn’t as likely today as it was last Friday. Rest and rehabilitation is the prescription, with the rehab starting within the week, and while the original estimates of six to eight weeks might have been a little too optimistic, he should be back this season.
The main point from Friday stands: The news could have been better, but it sure could have been worse.
No surgery means the sprain didn’t involve seriously torn ligaments in the shoulder, which is capital-G Good. Before getting too excited, though, Bumgarner is still recovering from a shoulder injury, which will never not be terrifying. I’m not an orthopedic surgeon, and I can’t tell you just how similar/different Bumgarner’s injuries are to the typical shoulder injuries that pitchers suffer (torn labrums, frayed rotator cuffs, etc.), but I do know that nothing makes a pitcher go full-departed like the shoulder. Mike Minor. Jason Schmidt. Brandon Webb.
The Giants are still seven games under .500 and seven games behind the first-place Rockies, and they’ll still be without their best pitcher for months. FanGraphs has updated their projected standings, and the Giants are projected to finish 79-83 now, behind the Diamondbacks, Rockies, A’s, and Blue Jays. So don’t get too giddy with the news that Madison Bumgarner doesn’t need shoulder surgery.
You can get giddy that the news wasn’t apocalyptic, though.