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Good news, bad news for Scott Olsen and his labrum

After an MRI exam and trip to see Dr. James Andrews in Alabama, Scott Olsen has opted for season-ending shoulder surgery. However, as Chico Harlan of the Washington Post explains the good news is that Olsen’s left labrum is only partially torn and the surgery could enable him to be ready for spring training.

By comparison a fully torn labrum would’ve meant more than a year of recovery and rehab, at which point there would be plenty of questions about Olsen’s stuff bouncing back. Instead team doctor Wiemi Douoguih seems confident that the surgery won’t be career-threatening, opining that “there’s a 90-percent likelihood this will just be a clean-up procedure.” Here’s more from the man who’ll be cutting Olsen open:

What it appears is that he’s got a small tear of the labrum. The rotator cuff looks to be in good condition. Nine times out of ten this is just a clean-up procedure, with the idea that they’re back to being competition-ready in three months. And that’s the goal here. Every once in a while you go in and find something a little more extensive.

If it’s just a clean-up procedure it’s probably three months before he’s back to being competition-ready. If it’s more extensive it could be pushed back later. That’s part of the reason we want to take care of that now for him, so it doesn’t encroach on spring training of next year.

Of course, even if Olsen comes back healthy there are still plenty of questions about his long-term outlook. Setting aside the ugly 6.03 ERA that he posted in 11 starts after being traded to Washington this winter, Olsen came into the season at 31-37 with a 4.63 ERA, mediocre strikeout rate, and poor control in 101 career starts. His velocity has declined from the low-90s to high-80s, he’ll be 26 years old before throwing his next pitch, and is about to get expensive via arbitration.