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Vince Velasquez had offseason surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

By Theo DeRosa, Sports Talk Philly staff

This story has been updated to reflect a correction by the Philly Voice.

The Phillies' Vince Velasquez went on the disabled list last August 11 for an injury to his middle finger. He proceeded to undergo what the team called a minor surgery to fix the ailment, and didn't appear again in 2017. 

But the situation was worse than the Phillies let on. Velasquez was suffering from thoracic outlet syndrome, a serious medical condition most notably faced by former New York Mets ace Matt Harvey. So the surgery the right-hander underwent was more serious. 

Correction: The Philly Voice's Joseph Santoliquito originally published a story saying that Velasquez had his first rib removed during the offseason surgery, but the story was changed to reflect a transcription error. Velasquez did not have a rib removed. 

Thoracic outlet syndrome occurs "when blood vessels or nerves in the space between your collarbone and your first rib (thoracic outlet) are compressed. This can cause pain in your shoulders and neck and numbness in your fingers," according to the Mayo Clinic.

Velasquez did experience numbness in his middle finger, leading to his being placed on the disabled list.

In August, Velasquez visited Dr. Robert Thompson, an expert on thoracic outlet syndrome, according to a CBS Sports article at the time. General manager Matt Klentak then denied that Velasquez was being treated for the condition.

The 25-year-old has continued his inconsistencies in 2018, but comes off a recent stellar start against San Francisco. He owns a 5.05 ERA in 41 innings in 2018. Velasquez is scheduled to start Wednesday afternoon at 12:35 p.m. in Baltimore.


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