ARLINGTON -- Rangers reliever Mike Adams has been diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, a condition where a rib bone presses against a nerve. That causes pain and numbness in the shoulder and arm.
The condition can require surgery and a three-month recovery. Adams is planning to see two specialists and see if there is a way he can pitch through it during the playoffs. Right now that's a big unknown for the Rangers.
"We don't know the severity of it," Adams said. "Hopefully we can do something to relieve the pressure and what's going on, make it good enough where I can pitch and pitch effectively."
Adams has been dealing with pain and stiffness in his right shoulder and neck the past couple of weeks, and that is causing more discomfort right now. But Adams said he has had thoracic outlet syndrome symptoms all through the season.
"This explains a lot and answers a lot of questions," Adams said. "It answers why things were feeling the way they were and why they were going the way they were."
Adams will not travel to Oakland with the team for the final series of the regular season, but will remain in Texas and continue to get treatment. The Rangers will decide sometime later this week if Adams is able to pitch in at least the first round of the playoffs.
"There are some guys who have been able to pitch through it," general manager Jon Daniels said. "Obviously if it gets to a point where it doesn't respond, surgery becomes an option. We'll just take it day to day and see how it responds to treatment. It's possible he pitches again, we just don't have a timetable. A lot of it is based on how he's feeling. There is no risk involved, it's just a matter of how he's feeling."
Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome in 2009 and has since made a full recovery.
"In speaking with Harrison, he said he was having trouble with his feel and his location," Adams said. "He was having trouble repeating his mechanics. That's kind of the stuff I've struggled with all year. It makes sense about what was going on."
Right now the Rangers are still focused on trying to clinch the American League West title, but Adams' availability for the playoffs remains unknown. Adams is 5-3 with a 3.27 ERA in 61 appearances for the Rangers this year. He is a free agent after the season.
"It's a bad situation with free agency," Adams said. "I hate to make it sound selfish, but I've got to do what's right for myself and my family. Hopefully I can make this work and pitch the next few weeks or month."