John Danks is anxious to go under the knife on Monday, when a team of White Sox surgeons will discover and repair whatever is wrong with his troublesome left shoulder. But that doesn't mean he's looking forward to it.
"I'm not exactly excited about going in, but I'm ready for it to be fixed and healed and get moving on with just getting back to being healthy," Danks said Sunday. "That's kind of the key. It's been so long since I've been truly healthy, I'm excited about getting everything fixed and kind of starting clean next year."
Danks has been on the disabled list since May 25 and hasn't started a game in the majors since May 19. His season is done, with nine starts and a 5.70 ERA standing as his final line in the first year of a five-year, 65 million contract extension signed in December.
"It definitely didn't go as planned," Danks said. "We'll get it fixed and get back. It's something I have to deal with. It's not easy, I know that. But I'm willing to do what I have to do to try to get ready. It's been a frustrating last couple years. I'm looking forward to just being healthy again. This is what we have to do."
After posting an ERA below 3.80 every year from 2008-2010, Danks ran into an oblique issue in 2011 and has a 4.66 ERA 36 starts since the beginning of last season. He's confident that he'll return healthy for 2013, and doesn't foresee something more problematic being discovered in his shoulder, such as a more serious labrum issue.
Danks was diagnosed with a mild Grade 1 strain of the subscapularis muscle in his left shoulder June 19, and that test also showed that his labrum was intact.
"I don't anticipate there being anything other than what they think there is," Danks said. "I don't have any other reason to believe otherwise. We won't really know until we get in there tomorrow."
However, a more serious problem with Danks' labrum could very well cost him the 2013 season. But the more positive side of things is that former White Sox pitcher Clayton Richard underwent a similar operation in June of 2011, and he returned to full strength in 2012.
But nobody really knows what Danks' timetable will be until the surgery is performed.
I think the best part of this is really to get down to the bottom of it and hopefully see something they can take care of and get him healthy," manager Robin Ventura said. "Its disappointing for him, first, and us that hes not able to pitch because it would be nice to have John Danks in the rotation. The first thing is to get him healthy and find out what it is."