MILWAUKEE -- The second opinion on Chris Narveson's aching left shoulder was the same as the first, so the left-hander will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a partial tear to his rotator cuff. Narveson had sought a second opinion from noted orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum, who confirmed the suggestion of surgery made by Brewers medical staffers, including Dr. William Raasch. The arthroscopic procedure requires a 6-9 month rehabilitation. In other words, Narveson's 2012 season is over after only two starts. He felt discomfort in his shoulder the morning after an April 15 loss in Atlanta.
"It's a shorter rehab than your Tommy John [elbow surgery]," Narveson said. "But it's pretty big." He knows. Narveson, 30, underwent Tommy John surgery in 2002, then had another significant procedure in 2005 to repair the labrum in his left shoulder. That shoulder surgery sidelined him for more than seven months. The upcoming procedure comes at a complicated time, because Narveson will be arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. He had won at least 11 games and pitched at least 160 innings in each of the past two seasons. He will not get a chance to make it three productive seasons in a row. "It's always a tough realization," Narveson said, "especially when it starts to sink in and you hear what's going on. But at the same time, you know it's a team sport. That's why guys are here, to step in and help the team win." Manager Ron Roenicke said right-hander Marco Estrada would continue making starts in Narveson's spot. Estrada pitched well in his starting debut against the Rockies on Saturday, but the Brewers lost in the late innings. "I've had some talks with [Narveson]," Roenicke said. "According to what Raasch says, this surgery should be real successful, but anytime, I think, if you have surgery and you're talking about a shoulder, there's still a question mark. That's the hard part." Narveson plans to rejoin the team after his surgery. Assistant general manager Gord Ash said club officials and Narveson will meet in the coming days to chose a time and place for the procedure. Even with the long timetable, there is some urgency to get the surgery done so Narveson can begin his rehabilitation. "[Yocum] said there was the potential you could try to rehab it, but with the partial tear like that, you could either rehab it and be fine, or you could risk tearing the rest of it," Narveson said. "When they can go in and fix it, it's better to do that and be 100 percent, rather than flip a coin and not know what it's going to do. ... "It's all about your outlook. You have to be positive. You know it's going to be long, you know it's going to be grueling, you know there's going to be days where it aches or hurts. A lot of times, the real work comes later on, when you get back on the mound."