Catcher Brian McCann Expects To Be Ready To Start Season In Braves' Lineup

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
When Braves orthopedic surgeon Dr. Xavier Duralde performed the surgery Oct. 16, he inserted anchors into the posterior portion of McCann's shoulder. Duralde also repaired a labrum tear that was more significant than expected.

McCann will visit Duralde on Tuesday with the hope of learning that he could begin playing catch by the end of this week. His desire to begin swinging a bat might have to wait another two weeks. But based on the way his shoulder feels, McCann is growing more excited about the upcoming arrival of Spring Training.

If McCann is in the lineup on Opening Day, he will be approximately two weeks ahead of the schedule that was projected when he underwent surgery. It has been assumed that the Braves' veteran catcher would miss the regular season's first two weeks and potentially all of April.

But McCann is not ready to make any assumptions as he prepares for what could be his final season in his hometown. The 28-year-old catcher simply wants to make the most of the season and distance himself from the disappointment of last year's injury-plagued season.

Given that he is entering the final year of his contract, McCann has every reason to remain cautious and take all of the necessary steps to increase the likelihood to remain healthy and productive throughout the year. But as the past two seasons have confirmed, McCann would rather play through pain than to selfishly protect his future by remaining on the bench.

Before suffering an oblique strain on July 26, 2011, McCann's career numbers included a .291 batting average and a .853 OPS. While hitting .219 with a .684 OPS in the 158 games that have followed, he has potentially influenced the payday that awaits him on the free-agent market at the end of the season.

But as he hit a career-low .230 with 20 home runs -- nine in July -- and a .698 OPS, McCann did not provide excuses or look for the easy escape. When it was mentioned in early August that he could undergo season-ending surgery and guarantee that he would be ready for the start of the 2013 season, McCann said his responsibility was to continue playing and attempting to help the Braves win.

McCann entered the 2012 season excited about the opportunity to make up for the struggles he experienced after returning too soon from the oblique strain he suffered in late July 2011. But it did not take him long to realize that his right shoulder wasn't right.

When McCann had trouble lifting weights before the 2009 season, he received a cortisone shot that allowed him to play through the next three seasons without pain in his shoulder. But there was no way for him to mask the pain and continue being successful as he went through last season knowing that his right shoulder would pop in and out of place if he had to reach across the plate or adjust to an offspeed pitch.

Given time to evaluate what he has experienced during the past two seasons, McCann believes it is time for him to benefit from the disappointments and prove that his productive days are far from over.

----- Source: MLB.com


Friday Night Football Scores: Week Nine

Email your scores to  sports@chattanoogan.com . THURSDAY NIGHT FINAL: Monterey 50 Sale Creek 0 FRIDAY NIGHT FINALS: Copper Basin 38 Lookout Valley 0 Notre Dame 40 Coalfield 0 Boyd-Buchanan 24 Sequatchie County 14 Tyner 27 East Ridge 3 Hixson 33 Central 12 Bledsoe 33 Silverdale 7 Greeneville 31 Signal Mountain 10 Rhea County 42 East ... (click for more)

Christian Brothers Shuts Out Flames 2-0

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Surging Christian Brothers University handed the visiting Lee men's soccer team a 2-0 Gulf South Conference (GSC) defeat  on Friday  evening. It was the seventh straight victory by the Bucs who improved to 11-2 overall and 5-1 in conference play. The Flames dropped to 7-6-2 overall and 2-4-1 in league competition. Brendan Bennett put CBU on ... (click for more)

Additions And Improvements At Camp Jordan Arena Coming Soon

Additions and improvements are coming to Camp Jordan Arena in the near future. At the Thursday night meeting of the East Ridge city council, approval was given for buying new playground equipment. It will come from Gametime, a locally-based company. The VP of Marketing lives in East Ridge and made a proposal to set up the playground at Camp Jordan so his company could use it for ... (click for more)

Tribute Service For Luther Masingill Held At Historic Engel Stadium

It took a place as big as historic Engel Stadium for Chattanooga to say goodbye to their beloved Luther. Hundreds came Thursday afternoon to pay tribute to Luther Masingill who died early Monday morning after a radio career that spanned an amazing 74 years. It was clear from all who spoke that he was considered not only a radio personality, but also a role model. One after ... (click for more)

Not Everything Has Been Done To Save Hutcheson

I am a resident of Walker County and I have a personal belief that a hospital ranks equal to other basic services a community should offer (like police, fire, emergency services, school systems, government, etc.). I am not privy to all the management and financial conundrums concerning the feasibility of maintaining and growing Hutcheson, and as a private citizen I don’t believe ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Veterinarian’s Horse Sense

I suspect you’ve heard by now that a doctor in New York City, who volunteers with “Doctors Without Borders,” just got back from the African nation of Guinea on October 17 – last Friday – and on Thursday tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus. Luckily, he came in actual contact with only a few people but he reportedly rode a subway, took a taxi, went on a three-mile run and ... (click for more)