TACOMA, Wash. (AP)Seattle Mariners pitcher Kendall Graveman said Monday he has a benign bone tumor in his cervical spine but intends to continue pitching.
Graveman, who spoke after making a rehab outing, started this season in Seattle’s rotation and made two starts before going on the injured list with a neck spasm.
He said the symptoms first developed in 2018 and a diagnosis of the tumor came last season while he was recovering from Tommy John surgery in the Chicago Cubs organization. He said the location of the tumor makes it difficult to do a surgical procedure.
”It has been lingering for about close to two years now. It helps with medicine, but still the whole process has been trial and error. So that’s what we’re dealing with,” Graveman said. ”I’ve seen plenty of specialists. I’ve seen numerous doctors. There is a procedure that is a possibility, maybe something that later on down the road we’ll check into. But I’m just going out there competing with it is the only thing right now that we can do, and continue to work through it.”
Graveman said he was told the tumor will not get worse, will not grow, but it does cause inflammation. Medication has helped reduce some of the inflammation, but he said the pain is not a traditional muscle or nerve pain and that it’s difficult to describe.
”I’m not here to hide anything. That’s what we’re dealing with. That’s what we’re faced with,” Graveman said. ”And I just continue to hope that there is relief in the future and continue to pitch and pitch through it.”
Graveman missed the entire 2019 season following elbow surgery. He signed a one-year deal with Seattle in the offseason in the hope of restarting his career. Graveman pitched in an intrasquad game Monday at Seattle’s alternate training site and hopes to make one more start before potentially rejoining the Mariners rotation.
”They tell me I’m not doing further damage to my body, so now it’s about being mentally tough enough to go out and pitch through it,” he said. —
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