Phillies left-handed pitching prospect Nick Hernandez underwent successful shoulder surgery on Wednesday in Delaware. The Phillies' 12th round pick in the 2009 amateur draft out of the University of Tennessee, Hernandez, described the current issue as a flare up of his labrum. He began the 2011 season on the disabled list with Lakewood, but stayed behind in Clearwater, FL when the team came north, while members of the training staff continued to evaluate his progress.
The surgery, conducted by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Craig Morgan, will force Hernandez to miss the entire 2011 season.
Hernandez, 22, was an All-star last season with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws in the South Atlantic League, as he posted a 3-1 record with a 1.61 ERA and a .197 batting average against, through 8 starts. However, he was sidelined with a shoulder strain in May. Later in the summer, he made two rehab appearances with the Gulf Coast League Phillies and experienced a setback that kept him from competing for the remainder of the season.
According to Hernandez, he will rest for one week and then commence rehabilitation and strengthening exercises, which are set to last roughly 4 months. He will then work on a throwing program for two months and later toss regular bullpen sessions in recovery months 7 through 8. His time table for a return to regular on-field action will be in 9 months, right on time for some early spring training action in 2012.
All of Hernandez's rehab work will be done at the Phillies' training complex in Clearwater.
The 6-foot-4-inch, 215-pounder expressed gratitude toward for all the support he has received while dealing with his shoulder ailments.
"I just want to thank all the fans, players and the Phillies organization for the support and prayers throughout this whole ordeal."
Hernandez looks forward to getting back to meaningful competition and is already excited for the 2012 season.
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