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Arizona Diamondbacks: Miller to receive a third opinion

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Shelby Miller seeks a third opinion.:( Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY) Sports
Shelby Miller seeks a third opinion.:( Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY) Sports
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The medical records of Shelby Miller of the Arizona Diamondbacks were sent to renown surgeon Dr. James Andrews.

First, there was a preliminary diagnosis for Shelby Miller, a right-hander for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Then, a second opinion and now, there is a third opinion.

Since Miller was taken out of last Sunday’s game with the Los Angeles Dodgers in Chase Field, his condition has been clouded in uncertainty, mystery and ambiguity. As of the start of Wednesday’s home game with the San Diego Padres, Miller’s original diagnosis remains tightness in his right forearm, but that could dramatically change.

Since Arizona team physician Dr. Gary Waslewski made that original diagnosis Sunday, Miller, seeking a second opinion, flew to Los Angles and consulted with Dr. Neal El Attrache. Apparently in the minds of the Diamondbacks’ medical team, club officials and Miller, there could be more.

On Wednesday, Miller’s MRI and other medical documentation was sent to Dr. James Andrews, the renowned orthopedic surgeon, who is best known for repairing ligament damage. The fact that Miller’s records were sent to Andrews indicates Miller’s situation could be more worse than initially feared.

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Given his strong start to the 2017 season, and Miller’s clear initiative to forget last season as an aberration and move forward, the injury is unsettling on a number of fronts.

Because of his solid start (2-1, 4.07 ERA, two runs lower than last season), Miller’s told Venom Strikes in the clubhouse before Wednesday’s game that sitting out is difficult.

"Everyone involved is handling this the right way. I’ll wait for everyone’s diagnosis. Both opinions (Waslewski, El Attrache) were similar, so we’ll wait one more day and then see what’s the best option. For me, it’s tough watching and a tough time. We’re winning and I want to be part of this so bad."

For their part, the Diamondbacks are taking every precaution. Although the wait could be read on several levels, manager Torey Lovullo told Venom Strikes that Miller’s situation will be addressed within an intelligent time table. For now, he pointed that the decision lays with Miller but the expertise of Drs. Waslewski, El Attache and Andrews will drive the final judgment.

"We’re gathering as much information as possible. To be honest, we’re not quite sure what’s going on, but we want to be as through as possible. We know there’s a general vagueness and we’ll support Shelby through this whole process."

Miler’s absence had a domino-like effect through the starting rotation. For now, Miller’s place is taken by right-hander Zack Godley, who started against the Padres Wednesday night. On Wednesday, Lovullo promised that each of the remaining four starters in the rotation will receive normal rest. It is also possible, Lovullo added, that those in the rotation could have an extra day of rest.

Right now, the Diamondbacks have games scheduled through this Sunday. They have off-days on Monday May 1 and Monday May 8. Lovullo pointed out to Venom Strikes those off-days could, or could not, affect his rotation.

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At this point, Lovullo’s decisions regarding the rotation depend on Miller’s definite diagnosis and that is expected sometime Thursday.

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