Yesterday, the Red Sox announced that Pablo Sandoval was set to undergo shoulder surgery to repair the mysterious ailments that put him on the disabled list. This was somewhat of a surprise, because at the outset of Sandoval's DL stint, nearly everyone felt that something fishy was up. His injury appeared to pop up overnight, and Boston didn't even bother sending him to an MRI machine to confirm a diagnosis before placing him on the 15-day DL.
When we learned that Sandoval was set to have surgery, we still didn't know what exactly was wrong with him; however that's no longer the case.
Pablo Sandoval's L shoulder surgery was indeed complicated: Included repair of labrum tear and cleanup of rotator cuff. He's out until 2017.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 3, 2016
After reading Jeff Passan's tweet, two things should immediately become apparent. The first is that Sandoval's left shoulder was seriously hurting, and everyone who made a joke about him having a phantom injury (myself included) should feel bad. A torn labrum is no laughing matter, and given that Dr. James Andrews also had to clean up Sandoval's rotator cuff means that he was dealing with two debilitating injuries.
The more important takeaway however is a question; how long has Sandoval been dealing with this issue? Barring a traumatic event, this injury likely didn't happen on a random Tuesday, but rather was something that took place over a long period of time.
"There are many different types of tears of the labrum. Or perhaps a better way to think about it is that these tears can occur from different types of trauma or repetitive stresses. There are tears of the labrum that occur because of injuries or trauma (a fall or auto accident). There are also tears of the shoulder labrum that occur because of repetitive use. Perhaps the most common form of labral tears are those that occur simply because our labrum has worn out over time."
If Sandoval has indeed been dealing with this issue for weeks or months, then the nature of this saga is even stranger; but it doesn't stop there. On April 13th, when his injury issues appeared to begin, he gave an interesting answer as to what caused his troubles.
Pablo Sandoval said he woke up and couldn't move his arm. Said he went through same thing in 2011. Next step unclear to see doc tonight.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) April 13, 2016
But once again, the strangeness continues. Sandoval referenced experiencing the same issue back in 2011, which apparently wasn't true. According to the initial story from John Shea, Sandoval hurt his shoulder "while swinging right-handed" rather than waking up and being unable to move his arm.
With this many conflicting reports, and host of questions that still remain unanswered, there's no way we've reached the end of this story. Sandoval will need to fill everyone in on when exactly his shoulder pain started, and why he seemingly kept it a secret. Did he simply not want to let his teammates down by bowing out to this injury, or did he hurt it in a sudden and embarrassing way that he didn't want the public to know about? We may never get the full story as to what happened, but the questions surely won't go away for some time.