BOSTON -- Curt Schilling might not be able to make a second start in the World Series because the unprecedented surgical procedure to stitch together his injured right ankle might be too damaging to keep repeating.
Team physician Bill Morgan told The Associated Press the team might have to pull the plug on the experiment after Schilling
experienced significant discomfort before his start Sunday in Game
2 of the World Series against St. Louis.
Schilling's start was not in jeopardy, but he might not be able
to return for Game 6, if necessary. Boston led the Cardinals
1-0 in the best-of-seven series after Saturday night's 11-9
"Honestly, we may not be able to do it a third time," Morgan
said. "It depends on what his tissues look like."
Schilling has a torn tendon sheath in his right ankle that will
need surgery after the season. It forced him out of his first start
of the AL Championship Series against the Yankees after just three
innings, but the procedure allowed him to pitch well in Game 6
against New York.
The technique involves suturing Schilling's tendon in place so
it doesn't flop over his ankle when he pitches. He had the stitches
put in on Monday and removed after his start on Tuesday night.
The procedure was repeated Saturday to prepare him for Sunday night. But this time, the stitches caused Schilling much more pain; he has been treated with painkillers and antibiotics to fight
"He's more uncomfortable because it's the second time around," Morgan said. "The line may be drawn there, depending on how he looks over the next five days.
"And he'd respect that if I said, 'Curt, doing this is
detrimental.' He'd say, 'All right, we can't do it.' Knowing him,
he'd try to push through it with taping again and all that sort of
Red Sox manager Terry Francona said he thought the problem was solved by removing one of the four sutures.
"The last suture was irritating him a little bit, so they took
it out," he said before the game. "Once it was removed, he went
from being a little concerned to wanting to see the lineup."
Schilling and the medical staff were out of options when Morgan came to him with the idea for the surgery, which had been tried only on a cadaver to see if it could work.
"This is pushing the envelope with Curt, it really is," Morgan
said. "But we're monitoring it closely to make sure he'll be OK
for next year."
Schilling said Saturday it was irrelevant to him whether it had
been done before, and he put his full trust in the medical team
headed by Morgan.
"He's earned every bit of the accolades he's gotten over the
last 10 days, because without him I would not be out here,"
Morgan said he is not rushing to judgment about the long-term
success of the procedure.
"Certainly the notoriety is helpful career-wise, but it can
also kill you," Morgan said. "It can go the other way. If Curt
ruptures his tendon or something, all of a sudden it wasn't such a