Jarrod Parker returned to the A’s Tuesday, the morning after learning he would need a second Tommy John-style ligament replacement surgery in his right elbow and forearm.
He’d had a little time to get his mind around the repeat surgery, which will take place next Tuesday in Pensacola, Fla. under Dr. James Andrews’ care.
“I was upset,’’ Parker said of his mindset coming out of the Monday meeting with Andrews. “It’s not one of those things that you can go in prepared for. You think you are, but really, you can’t prepare for that.’’
Parker sat with manager Bob Melvin Tuesday morning, Melvin expressing optimism that Parker, who rebounded well from a 2009 Tommy John surgery, will come back as strong again. Statistically there’s a small sample size, but there are suggestions that 90 percent of first Tommy John surgeries have positive outcomes and about 60 percent of second surgeries do.
“You read about the numbers about second surgeries, but it’s different for Jarrod,’’ Melvin said. “He’s young (25), he keeps himself in great shape. I think he’ll come back throwing well and have a nice long career.’’
After the first surgery that cost him the entire 2010 season, Parker came back well enough that he came into the 2014 season as the presumptive favorite to be the opening day starting pitcher for the A’s.
That was after Parker had felt forearm discomfort last September and October, discomfort that was so bad if the A’s had made into to the second round of the playoffs, Melvin said he probably would not have pitched.
Andrews checked Parker out and the decision at the time was that the pitcher just needed rest. Parker said Tuesday, however, that Andrews admitted to him he had been worried about Parker’s arm stability even then.
“Andrews said he’d been a little concerned last fall,’’ Parker said. The MRI at the time didn’t look promising, but without the surgeon seeing and touching and testing the arm, he couldn’t make an accurate diagnosis. Once he saw Parker, the concern apparently abated somewhat.
Parker will join the A’s after the surgery and, much like reliever Fernando Rodriguez did last year after his Tommy John surgery, Parker will remain in the Bay Area to do his rehab work, and be with the team for home games.
“I love this game. I love this team,’’ Parker said. “I’m going to be around the team.’’