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Shoulder injury once again sidelines Duggar for season

In a bout of deja vú, the Giants placed outfielder Steven Duggar on the 60-day injured list Friday with a left shoulder injury that will end his season.

Duggar’s 2018 campaign was also cut short after he required surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, and Wednesday he rolled over that same shoulder to make a play on a Juan Soto line drive and came up with a grade III left shoulder acromioclavicular joint sprain.

He said when he landed he knew right away it was serious and worried he might have torn his labrum again. He was slow to walk off the field and was removed from the game immediately. On his way through the dugout into the tunnel he could be seen throwing his glove in frustration. 

He said the MRI showed his labrum and rotator cuff are healthy, though, and that no damage was done to the previous surgical repair. This is a different injury:

“From what they told me, the shoulder’s just kind of hanging loose. They want to make sure that we tighten it back up so it can heal the right way. If we were to wait a couple weeks to see if it would heal on its own and it doesn’t, then you lose time on the back end.”

Duggar was batting .234 with four homers, 12 doubles and 28 RBI in 2019 over 281 plate appearances and in the field has been worth six defensive runs saved according to Fangraphs and five outs above average according to Statcast, tied for seventh-best in the league.

Manager Bruce Bochy said he empathizes with the 23-year-old South Carolinian as he comes to terms with the disappointment of another injury-shortened season, especially after all the work Duggar put into recovering and rehabbing from last year’s surgery.

“I feel awful for Duggy, it’s tough enough to go through it one time and have the surgery, I know he was excited about being back on the field, and then to go through it a second time—that can be disheartening. But he’s a tough kid and he’s got a great attitude right now and seems to be handling it as well as he can.”

The team is now seeking a second opinion from Dr. Gary Waslewski, an orthopedic surgeon with a shoulder specialty who repaired Duggar’s labrum last year.  Duggar said he’s focused on whatever path gets him back on the field and healthy the quickest and has the lowest risk of further setbacks, but he’s waiting to hear was Waslewski has to say:

“We’re still deciding what to do, but I think the smartest thing is to probably—obviously weigh all the options—but I am leaning a little bit towards surgery just because of the position that I play and how I play.”

If Duggar undergoes surgery the recovery time is estimated at around three months.

As he looks toward the future and getting healthy, he said the support he’s had from his teammates has been of comfort to him in processing the setback. Asked if the injury would be in the back of his mind making future plays he said:

“You definitely think about it, but at the same time, that’s how I’ve always played. You don’t want to sacrifice who you are just because you get banged up. There was an adjustment when I first came back and started making some dives on my a labrum to try to roll to protect it. I did a pretty good job with that. I just think with that last dive, my elbow caught the ground a little bit too soon and it was just a freak accident.”

The Mets signed Joe Panik Friday after the Giants DFA’d him Tuesday. He made his first start at Citi Field in the eight-hole and went 1-for-4 with a strikeout and a single.

Bochy said he texted Panik when he heard the news and was happy the New York native caught on so quickly, especially with a team so close to home:

“He’ll help them. I saw he’s in the lineup today, I’m happy for Joe that it worked out well.”

Outfielder Alex Dickerson continued to build up baseball activities as he recovers from a right oblique strain. Bochy said he swung in the cage, played catch and ran curves. There is not yet a solid return-date for Dickerson who was placed on the 10-day IL August 1.

Travis Bergen was reactivated Friday after a long stint on the IL for a left shoulder strain dating back to late-May.

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