Heathcott Will Be Back

Slade Heathcott had surgery on Friday

Slade Heathcott's first full season in the minor leagues this year culminated in labrum shoulder surgery last Friday. It was a pre-existing injury, however, one that he had attempted to play through, and now he'll be rehabbing his way back in time for the start of the 2011 season.

"I kind of knew I needed it the whole time," Slade Heathcott admitted. "I was just trying to play through it and then when I got to Instructs I couldn't swing the bat hardly so I just decided to get it checked out and ended up needing the surgery.

"I separated my shoulder in high school and we knew there was a tear in there, but we just didn't know how bad it was. I guess over the course of the season it just got worse and worse. I dealt with it all year and then I just couldn't deal with it anymore."

Heathcott, who finished his first full season hitting just .236 in his last 32 games for the Charleston RiverDogs and striking out a rather high 48 times during that stretch [accounting for 48 percent of his season's strikeout total], refuses to blame his performance on the injury.

"I chose to play with [the shoulder] the way it was," he said. "Throwing it has been hurting me for about a year and half now, but swinging it just started really hurting me the last month or so. I ended up pulling myself out of Instructs a week early."

He had the surgery last Friday and by nearly everyone's account, including Heathcott himself, he should be 100 percent ready for the start of Spring Training.

He will be able to resume throwing again by January 20th, the four-month mark of his rehab, but he is scheduled to see Dr. Andrews again at the three-month mark too and there is a chance he could get the green light then.

"I should be ready for Spring Training," Heathcott said. "[Dr.] Andrews told me 3-4 months and if it's anything like my knee surgery was where I came back really [quickly], I'll probably be ready in perfect time for Spring Training."

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