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Garcia says he may need more surgery, catches Cardinals GM by surprise


ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Cardinals lefty Jaime Garcia told reporters he may need additional shoulder surgery because he's experiencing nerve issues and numbness in his hand.

Garcia's comments came as news to general manager John Mozeliak, who said he hadn't discussed the situation with the player.

Mozeliak said Saturday the Cardinals had basically ruled Garcia out for the rest of the year and that Garcia had consulted with team trainers. But he said the team believed other options had not been explored.

Mozeliak judged the decision-making process "rather dramatic and quick" and added, "obviously, it sounds like he's made the decision."

"Do I sound frustrated? Do I look frustrated?" Mozeliak said before St. Louis played the Marlins. "Obviously, these are difficult times when you're dealing with injuries, but I certainly would have loved to have heard from him."

The 27-year-old Garcia is 3-1 with a 4.12 ERA in seven starts this season. He began the year on the 15-day disabled list and was placed there a second time on June 21 with shoulder soreness. He told reporters that surgery was an "option" and added, "I want to be out there so bad."

Mozeliak said he'd been told Garcia almost certainly will bypass the team medical staff and undergo thoracic outlet surgery to free the affected nerves with an outside surgeon.

"Clearly, he's been a hard guy to count on and a hard guy to keep on the field," Mozeliak said. "It just seems like there's always something physical with him."

Garcia said his injury is similar to that of former teammate Chris Carpenter, who had nerve issues for several seasons. Carpenter retired at age 38 before the 2013 season, getting just a handful of starts after undergoing thoracic outlet surgery.

Garcia was a 13-game winner each of his first two seasons in 2010 and 2011. He's totaled 15 wins since then and made just nine starts last season before undergoing a season-ending procedure for tears in the rotator cuff and labrum.

"He's got a lot of people helping him make his decision," manager Mike Matheny said. "He's in a tough spot."

The Cardinals have two starters on the DL, with Michael Wacha sidelined indefinitely by a stress fracture in his pitching shoulder. Mozeliak said Joe Kelly, on the DL since mid-April with a left hamstring strain, is expected to rejoin the rotation soon.

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