Wednesday’s meeting with the Red Sox produced the expected outcome for Steven Wright, a decision to go for season-ending surgery on his left knee.
The operation is being referred to as a cartilage restoration. Wright is expected to be ready for the start of spring training 2018.
“There are those floating pieces and they go in there and take those out and you're on a time period,” Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said. “He actually has what's called a chondral defect, which is a hole there in the cartilage, much more sophisticated than my knowledge.
“They need to try to fix that, and it's a big sized one. So that's what they will do on Monday."
Dr. Riley Williams of Hospital for Special Surgery is to perform the operation.
Dombrowski didn't indicate a worry about the team's pitching depth, perhaps because David Price is making encouraging progress.
The decision to go for surgery took three doctors visits and a lot of deliberation, Wright said.
Last summer, Chris Sale talked about how great it would be if Wright started the All-Star Game. Wright went to the game, but didn’t pitch. Then his shoulder was hurt pinch-running, and it took a while to heal.
Then came a knee injury in spring training, and everything has gone downhill since last summer. But he's always advocated a positive attitude.
“I was playing catch and I kind of twisted on my knee a little too much,” Wright said. “My foot, I remember it like it was yesterday, my foot got stuck in the grass playing catch and I kind of twisted it a little bit and felt a little pop. But it really didn’t hurt right away, so over a couple days I ended up getting an MRI, and that’s when I discovered a tear.
“I haven’t been throwing well but then I have a good game against Chicago, and I felt like I was a lot stronger on my front side. But then the next day I got treatment like I normally do, I go out and play catch and then I do a second round of treatment.
"On my second round of treatment, I couldn't walk. I couldn't get off the table. I was using crutches. It got to the point where with the doctors, I came in the next day, same thing. It still wasn't doing good and that’s when we opted to get the MRI and that’s when we found out the tears got significantly bigger.”
Wright could have had arthroscopic surgery, which would have potentially allowed him to come back this season, but wouldn’t have thoroughly addressed the problem.
“I wasn’t performing the way I know I could go out there, that I have in years past,” Wright said. “And I felt I didn’t want to have that in the back of my mind saying, ‘OK, when is it going to go? If and when is it going to get to the point where I can’t bear it and have to do the surgery?’
“This surgery I’m going to get works and has a high success rate. Even though it’s a lengthy rehab, it was more of just getting it fixed because of the size of the year. It sucks. It was a hard decision giving me three or four days, three doctors, a lot of questions to come up with this decision. But I feel at peace once I get it done, and I come back, I have no reason why I shouldn’t be ready for next season.”
Wright, 32, finishes his season with an 8.25 ERA in 5 starts. He went 1-3.