Johan Santana decides to undergo shoulder surgery
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Johan Santana might never again throw a pitch in the major leagues. Nevertheless, for the second time in his illustrious career, the Mets lefthander has chosen to undergo major shoulder surgery in hopes of beating the odds by returning to the pitcher's mound.
Santana, 34, will undergo the procedure with team doctor David Altchek on Tuesday in New York.
Mets captain David Wright said he is "not at all" surprised by the decision.
"I've known Johan long enough to know that I don't think that he'd want to go out like that,'' he said. "He's going to probably work just as hard, if not -- if it's possible -- work harder to come back from this. I wouldn't be surprised at all if I see him pitch again."
People close to Santana had indicated that he was leaning toward surgery, but he was expected to use the weekend to decide on his future. But just two days after the club revealed another tear in the anterior capsule of Santana's left shoulder, the two-time Cy Young Award winner elected to attempt the procedure despite what promises to be a grueling rehabilitation.
His first surgery in September 2010 cost him 19 months, and the second procedure likely will require about the same amount of time.
"It's very difficult," pitching coach Dan Warthen said. "If anybody can do it, it would be Johan. We wish him luck and we feel sick about what's happened."
Although he has likely thrown his last pitch for the franchise, the Mets owe Santana $31 million. He is in the final year of his contract. Neither manager Terry Collins nor Warthen has spoken to Santana.
"He's not answering anybody right now," Warthen said.
Wright spoke briefly with Santana on Thursday night.
"I just wanted to let him know that we were thinking about him, and obviously he was going through a rough time," Wright said. "So I wanted to make sure that he knew that he had a room full of guys that cared and wanted to wish him well."