Albers chooses rehab over surgery

Albers chooses rehab over surgery

BALTIMORE -- One day after flying to Birmingham, Ala. for a second opinion from orthopedic specialist Dr. James Andrews on a torn labrum in his right shoulder, reliever Matt Albers was back in the Orioles clubhouse Thursday ready to begin his rehabilitation.

Albers, who elected to go with the two-month rehabilitation option as opposed to a much longer surgical fix, seemed relieved that Andrews felt he could pursue the rehab program.

"I'm pretty excited about it," Albers said of the decision. "The tear in the labrum is pretty small so as long as I get rid of all my other problems, I should be OK. You really don't want to rush it. The best thing is to try to avoid surgery, that's my main goal. So I'm just trying to take my time and make sure everything's right and everything's strong before I rush back too soon."

Albers is scheduled to leave for Sarasota, Fla. this weekend and then the reliever plans to take three weeks off from even picking up a baseball before he moves on to a rehab program and eventually game action in the Minor Leagues.

Also rehabbing in Sarasota is Orioles left-hander Troy Patton, recovering from a similar injury to his own labrum. Albers said he has been in touch with Patton the last few days but that Patton's injury seemed to be far more severe than his own.

With both options on the table, Albers explained that his choice to rehab the injury over surgery did not shut the door on the surgical option completely.

"There's a possibility if in six weeks it doesn't work out, I'll have to have surgery," he said. "But right now we'll try to rehab it and take my time with it, make sure my shoulder feels better."

Albers is expected to be back in late August or early September if all goes according to plan. Also expected to be back then is Orioles pitcher Chris Ray, who is rehabbing from ligament replacement surgery he underwent last year in his right elbow. Manager Dave Trembley said he would have an update on Ray in the coming days, but reported that there have been no bumps in the road thus far in Ray's rehab.

Amanda Comak is an associate reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.