The wait for Joel Zumaya to provide some needed seventh-inning help for the Detroit Tigers' bullpen might take even longer. Zumaya is scheduled to visit Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla. on Monday, hoping to find out why he continues to feel pain in his right elbow and forearm.
Among the tests that Zumaya will undergo while visiting the noted orthopedic surgeon is an electromyogram that will check for nerve problems. The Tigers reliever will also have a MRI exam and CT scan during his visit. Zumaya was examined by Andrews in early March when he felt pain after scar tissue broke apart in his right elbow.
Following recommendations not to throw for three weeks, Zumaya had been shut down by the Tigers until last week. But he experienced discomfort at the very end of his throwing session, according to team trainer Kevin Rand. Zumaya was pain-free during his first 24 throws, but felt something on his 25th pitch. To be specific, Zumaya said he felt pain radiating down his forearm. That led the medical staff to think that Zumaya might have some nerve damage in his arm.
Zumaya originally had surgery last July to insert a screw in his elbow after suffering a fracture while pitching against the Twins on June 28. His recovery and rehabilitation had been progressing smoothly, leading into spring training. But ever since scar tissue broke in the elbow early in the spring, Zumaya hasn't been able to throw.