UPDATED 2/8/08 9:24 am–below

Curt Schilling has a shoulder injury. And according to reports, it’s more serious than the injury that caused him to miss 7 weeks last season.

Curt Schilling has visited Dr. Craig Morgan, who performed surgery on his shoulder in 1995. Sources have told reporters in Boston that Morgan feels Schilling needs surgery, while the Red Sox would like him to rehab his shoulder without surgery. The sources also say that the Red Sox have inquired about voiding his contract, which calls for a base pay of $8 million with several more million in incentives. Obviously, Schilling does not want his contract voided.

At this point, the injury is believed to be a rotator cuff or labrum tear. Surgery would end Schilling’s year, almost certainly. And he’s said this is definitely his last year.

Neither Schilling nor the Red Sox have publicly commented on the injury or the dispute as of yet, which is an ominous sign. If Schill had just visited Dr. Morgan to say “Aah,” he would have no doubt quickly released a statement to quash these rumors.

Schilling had a physical before he and the Sox inked this deal. Did they miss something? Or did he hurt his shoulder pulling the lever for McCain on Tuesday?

UPDATE: Schilling has “screaming pain” in his arm and”can’t throw a baseball, and has pain simply shaking hands or opening a door.”

From the Boston Globe:

Schilling will attempt to give the shoulder-strengthening program another try. If he doesn’t respond as well as he did last season, he has the option to walk away from his contract and have surgery to prepare for ’09 with another team…there are no shock waves on Yawkey Way. Both sides knew there wasn’t much left in his right shoulder before all this came out.

Here, in its entirety, is the statement released by the Red Sox:

Curt Schilling was examined by Red Sox doctors in January after he reported feeling right shoulder discomfort. Curt has started a program of rest, rehabilitation and shoulder strengthening in an attempt to return to pitching.

Seems that Schilling’s desire to have surgery has gone by the wayside. Neither side has addressed the supposed contract-voiding debate, but Curt has since posted a response of his own on his blog:

There have been disagreements these past few weeks in an effort to provide me with a solution that would allow me to pitch as much as possible during the 2008 season. At no time did I ever consider taking a course of action against the clubs wishes. In the end, regardless of who agreed with whom, I have chosen the clubs course of action and will vigorously pursue any and every option I can to be able to help this team to another World Series title in 2008.

Please understand that a lot of what has been reported is not true. When the club feels it’s appropriate to further discuss the details of this issue publicly I will elaborate…

After being diagnosed by the Red Sox medical staff I sought a second opinion, as anyone would, and when it became clear there was disagreement (which is not uncommon by the way), I agreed to see an independent Doctor from a list the Red Sox provided me, for the third opinion.

They were saying on the radio this morning that Curt’s injury is not a labrum or a rotator cuff, as previously speculated, but a problem with his biceps, according to the Boston Herald:

It is Morgan’s diagnosis that Schilling’s main problem stems from the bicipital groove, the portion of the bicep tendon which runs outside of the shoulder…and is an irreversible problem, if just using the Red Sox’ recommended remedy of a cortisone shot and rehabilitation.

“In my opinion a conservative approach will be unsuccessful, and that a surgical option is medically the correct thing to do and has the only potential shot of him being able to salvage his coming season,” said Morgan, who estimates Schilling could be ready to pitch by the All-Star break with the procedure…

[The third doctor] agreed with Morgan’s diagnosis that the pitcher’s biceps tendon had become diseased, but also concluded Schilling’s rotator cuff was a significant problem, and he wouldn’t be ready to pitch during in 2008 if Morgan’s proposed surgery was performed.

Morgan says the biceps (or the tendons?) in question “look like spaghetti.” I suppose that’s the medical term.

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