Left-handed pitching prospect Nick Hernandez has experienced another bump in the long road to recovery, following two years of shoulder troubles. Hernandez confirmed exclusively with PhoulBallz.com that he will require another surgery and be out of action for the remainder of the season.
Hernandez, a 12th round draft selection in 2009, became an All-Star in the South Atlantic League with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws in 2010 by posting a 3-1 record with a 1.61 ERA while striking out 52 and walking just 8 in 56 innings pitched.
Following his exceptional start to his pro career, the 6-foot-5-inch 205-pounder began experiencing discomfort in his throwing shoulder and was shut down for much of the remainder of the season. He rehabbed that year, making four starts with the Gulf Coast League Phillies, but experienced recurring pain and did not return to action until the Florida Instructional League that fall.
Last April, after being diagnosed with another labrum issue, rest and rehab were clearly not enough to get Hernandez back to full health, and surgery was required. Hernandez, a University of Tennessee product, has been recovering since that time.
To avoid further injuries, Hernandez, a Florida native, was taking his rehab rather slowly this year and was approaching full health. Roughly two weeks from competing in game action this year, another setback popped up for the nephew of MLB umpire Angel Hernandez.
After experiencing discomfort during his last bullpen session on Tuesday, June 19th, Hernandez was shut down by the Phillies. Hernandez then had an MRI on the troublesome area, which resulted in visible issues, or as Hernandez put it, "they found some things going on in there".
Hernandez saw Dr. Craig Morgan in Wilmington, DE on Thursday to further evaluate the health of his shoulder. Morgan is often regarded as the top shoulder physician in the world. Hoping for good news, Hernandez learned on Thursday that his season is over and he'll require arthroscopic surgery to clean up the area.
According to Hernandez, his labrum, rotator cuff and rotator interval are all intact. He expects to be back to 100% by spring training next year.
Hernandez, who has learned a great deal of patience through all of his down time, still maintains a positive outlook.
"It's unfortunate, but I just have to tackle the next battle", Hernandez stated.
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