Pendleton Done For The Year

With just 27 professional innings under his belt after being selected in the 4th round of the 2005 MLB Draft out of Rice University, Lance Pendleton never made it into a game this season. Battling shoulder problems all spring long, it turns out that Pendleton's elbow was the main culprit and he'll miss the rest of the year after having Tommy John surgery.

"I had Tommy John surgery about five weeks ago," Lance Pendleton told PinstripesPlus.com. "It went good. The ligament had degenerated and I had a small bone chip, so I went to Dr. Andrews and I got it taken care of. I'm right on track, maybe even a little bit ahead of schedule."

"I was a little surprised I needed the surgery," Pendleton continued. "I didn't think the problem was that serious."

Shoulder pain ended Pendleton's debut season prematurely with the Staten Island Yankees a year ago, and after resting most of the offseason, experienced more shoulder pain prior to the official start of Spring Training in 2006.

"I had a little tendonitis and I rested all fall," said Pendleton. "I began throwing again in January and February. I'm not sure why, but there was a little flare-up in my shoulder."

The shoulder injury could have had an impact on Pendleton's elbow, possibly changing his mechanics and delivery in Extended Spring Training.

"I think maybe, just possibly, it [rehabbing the shoulder] could have made it worse," Pendleton said of the elbow injury. "The elbow started to hurt. There was a slight pop, well, not exactly a pop. It [the elbow] just tightened up big time."

With the elbow hurting him, Pendleton went to visit Dr. James Andrews in mid-to-late April to have his elbow examined. While surgery was the recommendation, Andrews and the Yankees wanted Pendleton to attempt rehabbing the elbow first.

"Dr. Andrews told me you might as well give yourself that chance," said the right-hander. "Even though they said I most likely needed Tommy John surgery, I rehabbed it for a few weeks and it didn't work."

"I tried to rehab it," Pendleton continued, "but when the pain came back, I agreed with him [Dr. Andrews]. I've always had elbow problems and a lot of guys come back stronger after the surgery."

Lance Pendleton had the Tommy John surgery to repair his elbow on May 11th and he's currently at the minor league complex in Tampa rehabbing himself back from the surgery.

Rather than using the injury as some excuse to rest and relax, Pendleton is making the most of his time. 15 credits shy of his college graduation requirement, Pendleton is taking 12 credits in summer school at the University of South Florida while working out with the Yankees.

"I told scouts before they drafted me that I wanted to get my college degree," revealed Pendleton. "I took 15 credits last fall and I want to get my degree done with. I plan on being a Major Leaguer, but I'm a realist too. I want something to fall back on just in case things don't work out."

Aside from working out his mind, Pendleton is also using his time off the mound to better prepare himself physically for 2007 and beyond.

"I had a knee injury in college and all I could do was lift weights. I think that was a big reason why I was able to come back my junior year and throw harder. Now that I've had the Tommy John surgery, I'm really attacking my legs now. Whatever it is - nine, ten, eleven months [of rehab] - I'm going to work as hard as I can."

Pendleton, a Rice University product, is just another name on a long list of Owl hurlers who have required Tommy John surgery in the pros. With less than 60 innings pitched in college however, Pendleton believes the Rice University 'jinx' is more coincidence than anything.

"I just think it is more bad luck than anything," said Pendleton. "I don't think Coach Graham [Rice Manager] does anything different from other college coaches. I just think all college coaches use their pitchers more than they would in the pros."

Still a solid three or four months away from even beginning light toss throws in his rehab process, it is still way too early to accurately predict when Pendleton will return to the mound.

The normal rehab process usually takes anywhere from 11-18 months, putting Pendleton's return somewhere after the start of the 2007 minor league season.

"From what I've heard, maybe a year, maybe a month sooner," Pendleton forecasted when fans could expect to see him back on the mound. "It all depends. I look at it as the glass is half full. I'm going to come back stronger and sooner, hopefully in Extended Spring Training [in 2007]. But more importantly, when I do come back, I want to do whatever I have to do to remain healthy."

"I'm going to come back stronger, faster, and better than ever."

Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\"I had Tommy John surgery about five weeks ago,\" Lance Pendleton told PinstripesPlus.com. \"It went good. The ligament had degenerated and I had a small bone chip, so I went to Dr. Andrews and I got it taken care of. I'm right on track, maybe even a little bit ahead of schedule.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I was a little surprised I needed the surgery,\" Pendleton continued. \"I didn't think the problem was that serious.\"
\r\n
\r\nShoulder pain ended Pendleton's debut season prematurely with the Staten Island Yankees a year ago, and after resting most of the offseason, experienced more shoulder pain prior to the official start of Spring Training in 2006.
\r\n
\r\n\"I had a little tendonitis and I rested all fall,\" said Pendleton. \"I began throwing again in January and February. I'm not sure why, but there was a little flare-up in my shoulder.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe shoulder injury could have had an impact on Pendleton's elbow, possibly changing his mechanics and delivery in Extended Spring Training.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think maybe, just possibly, it [rehabbing the shoulder] could have made it worse,\" Pendleton said of the elbow injury. \"The elbow started to hurt. There was a slight pop, well, not exactly a pop. It [the elbow] just tightened up big time.\"
\r\n
\r\nWith the elbow hurting him, Pendleton went to visit Dr. James Andrews in mid-to-late April to have his elbow examined. While surgery was the recommendation, Andrews and the Yankees wanted Pendleton to attempt rehabbing the elbow first.
\r\n
\r\n\"Dr. Andrews told me you might as well give yourself that chance,\" said the right-hander. \"Even though they said I most likely needed Tommy John surgery, I rehabbed it for a few weeks and it didn't work.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I tried to rehab it,\" Pendleton continued, \"but when the pain came back, I agreed with him [Dr. Andrews]. I've always had elbow problems and a lot of guys come back stronger after the surgery.\"
\r\n
\r\nLance Pendleton had the Tommy John surgery to repair his elbow on May 11th and he's currently at the minor league complex in Tampa rehabbing himself back from the surgery.
\r\n
\r\nRather than using the injury as some excuse to rest and relax, Pendleton is making the most of his time. 15 credits shy of his college graduation requirement, Pendleton is taking 12 credits in summer school at the University of South Florida while working out with the Yankees.
\r\n
\r\n\"I told scouts before they drafted me that I wanted to get my college degree,\" revealed Pendleton. \"I took 15 credits last fall and I want to get my degree done with. I plan on being a Major Leaguer, but I'm a realist too. I want something to fall back on just in case things don't work out.\"
\r\n
\r\nAside from working out his mind, Pendleton is also using his time off the mound to better prepare himself physically for 2007 and beyond.
\r\n
\r\n\"I had a knee injury in college and all I could do was lift weights. I think that was a big reason why I was able to come back my junior year and throw harder. Now that I've had the Tommy John surgery, I'm really attacking my legs now. Whatever it is - nine, ten, eleven months [of rehab] - I'm going to work as hard as I can.\"
\r\n
\r\nPendleton, a Rice University product, is just another name on a long list of Owl hurlers who have required Tommy John surgery in the pros. With less than 60 innings pitched in college however, Pendleton believes the Rice University 'jinx' is more coincidence than anything.
\r\n
\r\n\"I just think it is more bad luck than anything,\" said Pendleton. \"I don't think Coach Graham [Rice Manager] does anything different from other college coaches. I just think all college coaches use their pitchers more than they would in the pros.\"
\r\n
\r\nStill a solid three or four months away from even beginning light toss throws in his rehab process, it is still way too early to accurately predict when Pendleton will return to the mound.
\r\n
\r\nThe normal rehab process usually takes anywhere from 11-18 months, putting Pendleton's return somewhere after the start of the 2007 minor league season.
\r\n
\r\n\"From what I've heard, maybe a year, maybe a month sooner,\" Pendleton forecasted when fans could expect to see him back on the mound. \"It all depends. I look at it as the glass is half full. I'm going to come back stronger and sooner, hopefully in Extended Spring Training [in 2007]. But more importantly, when I do come back, I want to do whatever I have to do to remain healthy.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm going to come back stronger, faster, and better than ever.\"
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