Orioles left fielder Nolan Reimold will have surgery to have a bulging disk in his neck removed and his spinefused on Monday morning at Johns Hopkins. Although he holds out hope he could return at the end of the season, Reimold likely will be gone for the year.
“I think it is possible, if everything works out, that’s a possible, best-case scenario,” Reimold said of returning in 2012. “I am resigned to the fact I need to get the surgery and I need to do my rehab until I feel like I am able to play at this level again, whether it takes eight weeks or a little bit longer, that’s what I am going to do.”
Reimold, who hasn’t played since April 30, said the disk has been impinging on a nerve, which has been causing weakness and tingling in his left arm and hand.
“The best thing to do as far as my career is definitely to get the surgery, to take the pressure off the nerve,” Reimold said Friday afternoon.
Originally thought to be back spasms, a bulging disk was discovered in Reimold’s neck in May, and after two epidural shots, the disk began to shrink, but the tingling remained. He has been considering surgery for the past few days after consultations with multiple doctors.
“I contemplated back and forth a little bit, but it was pretty much a consensus among all the doctors that I talked to that it would be the best thing to do,” he said. “So making a decision wasn’t too hard. But it’s just the fact you have to make the decision to actually have the surgery.”
This is how he describes the procedure, which will be performed Monday morning at the Johns Hopkins Neurosurgical Spine Center by neurosurgeon Dr. Ziya Gokaslan:
"The disk is pushing on the nerve root in there causing the symptoms I have," Reimold said. "So the whole thing is to remove the disk and get the pressure off the nerve. I don’t know exactly what the timeline is,” he said. “Best-case scenario I think it is possible to be back by the end of the year there, but I’m not sure as far as the rehab and how quickly the strength will come back and that sort of thing.”
Reimold said the disk will be removed and the spine fused together – a pretty common surgery. It’s basically the same as what Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning had done last year.
“Pretty much so, and he seems to be doing all right; he’s still going to be a quarterback in the NFL," Reimold said. "He’s obviously responded well to it.”
Reimold was hitting .313 with five homers in 16 games before being shut down.
“It is disappointing, not just individually but collectively too, because with the team playing well, we’re as of right now in the division mix up there towards the top and to not be a part of it, and just to watch it is kind of tough,” Reimold said. “But I am still rooting for the guys, pulling for them and just from that perspective, it’s tough. But I’ll be back and everything should go well and I’ll do everything I can to be back as soon as I can and hopefully it’ll make me stronger.”Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times