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Mets’ Johan Santana Facing Potential Career-Ending Surgery

j. santanaNew York Mets left-handed pitcher Johan Santana suffered a probable re-tear of the anterior capsule in his left/throwing shoulder, in which he had surgery on in September 2010, and there is a strong possibility he will require a second surgery.

This could be a career-ending injury for the 34-year-old Santana, who needed 19 months to throw a major league pitch after the first operation.

“I’m not a doctor nor am I a medical historian,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said in conference call on Thursday, “but these injuries are very difficult to recover from after one surgery, and I don’t know the history of recovering from a second.”

Santana was examined in New York on Wednesday by team Dr. David Altchek, who performed the first procedure on the two-time Cy Young Award winner. An MRI revealed the probable re-tear and Altchek sought the second opinions of renowned doctors James Andrews and Lewis Yocum. Both doctors came to the consensus that there was a re-tear of the anterior capsule.

“If this diagnosis proves to be correct, I think in all likelihood Johan will be lost to the Mets for the season,” Alderson said.

Peter Greenberg, Santana’s agent, requested that Altchek get a second opinion because his client is entering the last season of a six-year, $137.5 million deal with the Mets. Santana is still owed $31 million, but all of it is not insured.

Alderson said that it was unclear when Santana re-injured the anterior capsule, but Santana was forced during spring training to ease off mound work because of shoulder weakness.

After missing the 2011 season due to the first surgery, Santana returned last season and went 6-9 with a 4.85 ERA in 21 starts before being shutdown in mid-August with ankle and back issues.

However, Santana reached a historic milestone with the Mets last season, becoming the first Met to ever throw a no-hitter. He needed 134 pitches to achieve the accomplishment over the St. Louis Cardinals on June 1. But following his no-hitter, his numbers dropped drastically, pitching an 8.27 ERA in 10 starts.

Santana will remain in New York over the weekend and contemplate whether or not undergo surgery.

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