Shoulder problem puts Tigers’ Ferrell on the shelf

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Jeff Ferrell

Lakeland, Fla. – The Tigers were hoping that right-hander Jeff Ferrell could start the season as one of the back-end relievers at Triple-A Toledo. That was before he was shut down with a recurring shoulder ailment.

“They are calling it an impingement,” he said. “I’m not really sure what that is.”

In simple terms, it’s when the tendons and bursa compress the rotator cuff. It causes inflammation and a pinching-type pain. It’s something that’s been pestering him for a full year.

“Yeah, it happened at the beginning of last year and I was able to pitch through it, then in the (Arizona) fall league, same thing,” he said. “As soon as I told them it’d been bothering me here, I went for an MRI. Everything looked good except for the impingement. It’s what is causing the pain and inflammation.”

Ferrell, who climbed from Double-A to Triple-A and pitched in nine games for the Tigers last season, was scheduled to do light throwing for the first time in more than a week Monday.

“I will toss from 60 feet and see how I feel after that,” he said.

He’s been treating it with physical therapy, electronic stimulation and anti-inflammatory medication. If it persists, and this is the worst-case scenario for the team and for Ferrell, surgery could become an option to create more space in the shoulder for the rotator cuff.

“It definitely sucks,” Ferrell said. “It’s never really gone away.”

Twitter @cmccosky

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