BALTIMORE -- The Orioles didn't need more injury news, but general manager Mike Elias delivered some Tuesday, announcing that right-hander Alex Cobb will undergo hip surgery this week and miss the rest of the season.
Cobb, who signed a four-year, $57 million contract during spring training 15 months ago, started this season on the injured list with groin soreness and returned to the IL twice with what was described as a lumbar strain. Elias said Tuesday that both issues apparently were referred pain from a previously undiscovered hip injury.
Nashville hip specialist Dr. J.W. Thomas Byrd will perform a procedure to correct a femoroacetabular impingement in Cobb's right hip.
"It's basically a bony outgrowth that's rubbing up against some soft tissue and we do expect him to miss the rest of the season," Elias said. "We made the determination to do it. While I think he could try to pitch right now, he clearly hasn't been 100 percent and it's more important to us to get this issue corrected at the right time and have him 100% in spring training. ... We're fully anticipating a 100% Alex Cobb in Sarasota (Fla.,) next spring. That's what we want."
Cobb will rehabilitate after the surgery at the Orioles' training facility in Sarasota, but Elias also left open the possibility of a second procedure to deal with some nagging knee soreness.
The first two seasons of Cobb's four-year deal have been a nightmare for a 31-year-old pitcher, whose career was interrupted in 2015 and for most of 2016 by a torn elbow ligament that required Tommy John surgery.
He was signed late in spring training last year and joined the regular-season rotation just 3 1/2 weeks later. He struggled badly at the outset, grappled with a chronic blister problem and suffered through the worst statistical season of his career.
This year, he felt sore soon after being named the team's Opening Day starter. He missed that start and debuted April 4, only to be sidelined for two more weeks with back soreness. He pitched two more times before being shut down again and eventually going on the 60-day injured list.
"Obviously, the timing's unfortunate, but it kind of took us by surprise in spring training," Elias said. "He thought he might have had it licked when he came back and tried to pitch, but the judgment was made on his part and that of our entire medical staff and training staff to just go ahead and get this taken care of, because it's something that's fairly easily correctable and will put him in a position to be 100 percent in 2020."
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