Reading Phillies reliever Matt Squires authors a weekly journal of what's happening both on and off the field. In this entry, Matt talks about his pending shoulder surgery that will force him to miss the rest of the season."/>

From the Bullpen: Matt Squires' On-Line Journal

Matt Squires: out for the season.

<center><b>We are offering this week's edition of <i>From the Bullpen</i> as a free preview of our premium content. Please click on the "Get Inside" link above to find out more about premium content.</b></center> <br> Reading Phillies reliever Matt Squires authors a weekly journal of what's happening both on and off the field. In this entry, Matt talks about his pending shoulder surgery that will force him to miss the rest of the season.

Well, after a couple of doctor visits, it looks like surgery is the best option for my shoulder. We've scheduled the surgery for next Thursday (August 12). Dr.James Andrews, who is one of – if not, the best orthopaedic surgeons in the country – will be doing the surgery. I would have had the surgery done this week, but he's on vacation. I guess that's kind of good, because he'll be nice and relaxed to do my shoulder.

As for how long I'll be out, that depends on how much they have to do. The MRI showed a small tear in the rotator cuff. If they get in there and basically just have to clean out my shoulder, I can start to throw again in about eight weeks. That means that I'll miss the rest of the season obviously, but it's not too bad. If the tear is worse than they thought or if there is any damage to the labrum – which they don't think that there is – then the recovery will be longer. The worst case scenario is that it could be eight or nine months before I can throw again, but I'm really confident that won't be the case.

The bottom line though is that the trainers and the doctors don't see this being something that I can't come back from. That's the good news. I just have to keep reminding myself of that.

The plan now is for me to come back to Clearwater right after the surgery and hang out here for a while. When the sling comes off, the Phillies have told me that I can fly home for a few days, which will give me a chance to get my car and drive it back to Clearwater from my place in Idaho. Considering that it's a '92, I hope it makes it. I'm sure it will be an interesting drive to say the least. Once I get back to Clearwater, I'll work on rehabbing my shoulder. I already know that won't be easy, but it's just what you have to do.

With the surgery a little more than a week away, I'm actually not too nervous. I mean you're always at least a little nervous when you go through something like this. Besides the normal concerns that people get when they have surgery, I've got to think about my career, too. I really do feel like it will all work out and that I'll be okay. Everyone I've talked to is optimistic about it and my surgeon is great, so we'll just see how it turns out.

Meanwhile, Ryan Howard and Gavin Floyd got the call to go to AAA. That's great news and they both deserve it. For what it's worth, I think they're both ready for AAA and should do well with Scranton. I saw that the Red Barons have had a tough time lately, but they just got two guys who should help them out a lot. It's kind of a shame that Ryan didn't get to set the Eastern League homerun record, but I don't think there's any doubt in anyone's mind that he would have had he stayed in the league. Knowing him, he's happier to be moving along rather than worrying about an individual record. As for Gavin, it was great watching him pitch. He was awesome his last few times out and it's just a matter of time until he's in Philly. This is one step closer for both of those guys and I'm really happy for them. It's a tough loss for the guys in Reading though, but they'll hang in there.

The Reading Phillies officially put me on the DL on Monday. I've actually been down in Clearwater just working out and preparing for the surgery. I've gotten to hang out with Zack Segovia, which has been fun. The trainers told me that it was okay to play golf as long as I don't throw, so Zack and I have been hitting the course when we get a chance. We were just out hitting some golf balls last night as a matter of fact.

When I first got down here, I saw a little bit of a Gulf Coast League game. The weather has been pretty bad though and a lot of the games have been rained out. Plus, Clearwater has been on the road, so I haven't gotten to see them. I'm sure I'll get to check out a few games before the surgery and some more after the surgery.

The next time you hear from me will probably be after the surgery. I'll let everyone know how it went and how I'm doing as soon afterward as I can.

editor's note: fans can feel free to pass along any thoughts and get well wishes to Matt Squires by e-mailing PhillyBaseballNews.com and we will be sure to pass them along.

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