Relieved Glavine to miss just one start

Relieved Glavine to miss one start

NEW YORK -- A sense of great relief washed over the Mets organization when it learned the rotation will be whole again after Glavine has missed one, perhaps two starts. He was to have started against the Cardinals on Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. But the doctors want to afford him ample time for the incision in his groin, part of the invasive angiogram procedure, to heal.

The angiogram was one of several tests performed Monday that led to the finding that Glavine has neither a new blood clot nor a knotted artery in his left shoulder, as doctors had feared after preliminary examinations. Glavine experienced coldness in his left ring finger after his start in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

"The test showed that the symptoms are caused by an old injury to an artery, probably caused by pitching," the Mets said in a statement that was read to fans at Shea after batting practice. "The scar tissue from that old injury occasionally causes blood clots to form in Tom's finger. The condition is not serious and will be treated with baby aspirin and other medication to help his circulation."

"It seems like a pretty simple solution for what turned out to be a whole elaborate bunch of tests," Glavine said. "The simplest solution is the best one we could have hoped for."

A person familiar with Glavine's situation said Mets doctors had told the pitcher his situation was in some ways akin to arthritis that has intermittent symptoms; that the malady is no worse, but that the symptoms are more noticeable. In Glavine's case, the only symptom was the coldness.

"I'm relieved," he said. "There's still a little bit of anxiety from going through what I went through the last few days, and the uncertainty of it. It's certainly a great feeling, knowing I can go out there and continue to pitch and get back on the field as soon as I can. From that standpoint, it's great. Hopefully, from here on out, there'll be no more problems."

He characterized Monday as "a stressful day, but in the end, it turned out pretty well." The most difficult part, he said, was sitting still for six hours after the angiogram to allow the incision to begin to heal.

Mets physician David Altchek lifted Glavine's spirits when he shared his experiences in other similar cases.

"In the end, I went in prepared for the worst and hoping for the best," Glavine said. "Fortunately for me, the best-case scenario ended up being what it was.

"All in all, it's really a problem of having a blood clot. There's a little bit of damage from the years that causes, at times, a little bit of buildup in the artery. Every once in a while, you get what they call a 'freckling' effect where those things break off a bit and trickle down your arm. If something gets lodged and disrupts something, then I get the symptoms I had with the finger.

"My understanding is that this is something I've had for a long, long time, I've lived with and my body has adapted to," he continued. "I just have, for whatever reason, periodic instances where I get the symptoms I had the other day. ... Surgery is a long rehab and obviously not something I would want to go through as a player."

Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.