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Angels reliever Sean Burnett 'crushed' by latest setback

June 11, 2013|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • Sean Burnett's second visit to Dr. James Andrews didn't end with a surgical procedure, but the Angels left-hander has been ordered not to pick up a ball for a month.
Sean Burnett's second visit to Dr. James Andrews didn't end… (Orlin Wagner / Associated…)

BALTIMORE — The news was bad for reliever Sean Burnett on Tuesday, but it could have been much worse.

The Angels left-hander came away from a second visit in five weeks to Dr. James Andrews, the noted Alabama orthopedic surgeon, not needing elbow surgery, but he was ordered not to pick up a ball for a month, which will push back his return to August at the earliest.

“I was crushed, man,” Burnett said after rejoining the team in Baltimore. “I came here to help this team, and it’s been disappointing. I haven’t been able to do much, if anything. I just want to play, and I’m unable to do that.”

Burnett, who signed a two-year, $8-million deal last winter, has an 0.93 earned run average in 13 appearances but has spent as much time on the disabled list as he has on the active roster.

He went on the DL on April 28 because of a forearm irritation, returned in late May, pitched twice and went back on the DL on May 28 because of an elbow impingement. He continued to play catch, but when he tried to throw off a mound last Thursday in Anaheim, the pain was unbearable.

Burnett had Tommy John surgery in 2004 and had bone spurs removed from the elbow last October, but he said an MRI test revealed no major structural damage. Throwing may have exacerbated the problem, so Burnett, who received in injection in the elbow, is taking a different tack.

“I tried my plan, and it didn’t work,” Burnett said. “So we’re going to go by the doctor’s plan and take some time off.”

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