Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Video convinces Francis to get surgery

Citizen Staff Writer



One picture turned out to be all it took for Colorado starting pitcher Jeff Francis to realize his season will likely end before it begins.

The Rockies left-hander hoped to throw in spring training with little pain and be able to join the club by May.

Instead, those hopes took a detour after Francis watched a videotape of his Tuesday bullpen session and realized season-ending surgery is likely needed.

“It didn’t look anywhere close. I was really disappointed,” Francis said Thursday. “There is obviously something going on.”

Francis, who will have exploratory shoulder surgery on Wednesday in Denver, expects the surgery to keep him sidelined all season, just a year removed from a painful 2008 season.

The fifth-year veteran hurler was on top of the world entering last season after helping get the Rockies to the 2007 World Series. His 17-9 record and 4.22 ERA that year was crucial to the team’s late-season run.

Last year, a painful shoulder strain emerged early in May, and never subsided.

Francis said he didn’t think he could pitch effectively this year. “What I saw on the tape in the bullpen was not even close,” he said.

He said he’d made changes in his delivery to avoid pain. “I had no arm speed . . . the arm action was short and I was not powerful at all.”

Francis finished 4-10 with a 5.01 ERA in 2008. He has a 51-44 overall record and a 4.74 ERA.

“This is a bad time of the year to be making a decision like this. I think it is a necessary one,” Francis said. “I could put damage on something else. I could put strain on an elbow. I just want to go out there and be the pitcher I can and I don’t think in the state I am in right now I could do that. It would not be fair to me and it would not be fair to the team.”

Our Digital Archive

This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.

There are more than 230,000 articles in this archive.

In TucsonCitizen.com Morgue, Part 1, we have preserved the Tucson Citizen newspaper's web archive from 2006 to 2009. To view those stories (all of which are duplicated here) go to Morgue Part 1

Search site | Terms of service