According to a report from the Toronto Blue Jays’ Web site, Long County’s Dustin McGowan could be held out for all of the 2009 season as a result of a lingering shoulder problem.
According to Jays’ manager Cito Gaston, "I don’t know when he’s going to come back, I really don’t."
He added, "I’m not sure if he’s going to come back at all this year. Let’s hope he does, but I’m not sure. It’s just taking longer to get him back to where he needs to be. He still has some pain in [his shoulder], so there’s no sense in pushing him and just setting him back further."
McGowan underwent surgery on his right shoulder last July and has been in rehab every since. At first, both the pitcher and the club released information indicating the Ludowici native would be back as early as opening day. However, according to recent reports, the right-hander has decreased his workload this spring to account for some discomfort in his arm.
McGowan confirmed the reports are accurate.
"This is true, but only if my shoulder continues to give me problems. They are just being cautious and safe."
The pitcher added, "I want to pitch this season and that is still my goal, and I will continue to work hard to achieve this. But I have to be smart on the other hand and not hurt myself any further."
McGowan, who was a starter last year, was listed as No. three on the depth chart. His skills will be missed if he is unable to comeback, however, he’s still optimistic about the upcoming year.
"I have been a little sore, but I feel my progress is starting to get better and I’ll know better in two weeks when I start throwing again. My main priority is to get healthy," McGowan said.
Last year, Toronto finished the season 86-76. But despite being 10 games above .500, the team finished in the fourth spot in the American League, Eastern Division.
In exhibition games this spring, the Jays have 12 wins, 15 losses and two ties.
The Blue Jays open their season Monday, taking on the Detroit Tigers in Toronto.