Mariners Insider Blog

Gutierrez returns in good spirits & a sling

Outfielder Franklin Gutierrez returned to camp today in good spirits – and a sling – and talked about helping the Seattle Mariners in 2012.

After missing much of last year with a stomach ailment, Gutierrez was in good shape, strong and loose, when he made a throw Tuesday and felt a sharp pain.

"I tried a second throw and couldn't do it," Gutierrez said.

And that was that.

Gutierrez was given an MRI exam, then flown to Seattle where team Dr. E. Edward Khalfayan examined him and determined he had a partially torn pectoral muscle.

"When I was going to Seattle I thought I might need surgery, they said if the muscle had pulled away from the bone I would have," Gutierrez said. "Some of the muscle hadn't pulled away."

Back in Arizona, Gutierrez rode a stationary bike and took treatment that involved ice and electric stimulation. The sling kept his right arm stationary throughout.

"I'm going to wear this through Tuesday or Wednesday, then start exercises and go from there," he said. "I'm not frustrated. I keeping my mind positive. You do your best, it can still happen. You have to move forward.

"I was excited when I came to camp, I have the same approach now.I'll be held back a few weeks, but I'm getting better. I'll help the team."

The initial diagnosis is that Gutierrez, the team's Gold Glove center fielder, will miss four weeks, then be re-evaluated on a week-to-week basis.

That means he'll miss virtually all spring games before the team leaves for Japan on March 22, but that he could participate in exhibition games once Seattle returns to Arizona on March 30.