Jon Lester has pitched for years with bone chip in elbow
Cubs pitcher Jon Lester has been pitching with a bone chip in his left elbow for at least two years, and almost certainly much longer than that.
The information came out in Jeff Passan’s new book, The Arm, and the Cubs discovered the issue in an MRI as part of Lester’s physical before signing with the team.
Lester spoke to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times about the issue, and he doesn’t let it worry him.
“It’s just a matter of hopefully it stays put, and we don’t have any worry about it,” Lester said. “And then if it does become a concern, if I start having inflammation or missing starts because of it, then that’s when we’ll probably sit down and talk to somebody about getting it removed.
“As of now, knock on wood, I haven’t had any concern with it.”
Cubs president Theo Epstein said the team was comfortable with the risk when they signed Lester.
“We did a very thorough exam including imaging of the shoulder and elbow,” Epstein said Friday. “We were really quite pleased with the results, as Jon compared very favorably with most of the free agent pitchers we have examined and MRI’d over many years.
“Virtually all pitchers have some wear and tear on their shoulders and elbows, and Jon’s imperfections were very manageable. He remains very consistent, as we hoped, throwing 200-plus quality innings yet again last season.”
Injuries have never been a problem for Lester. He’s made at least 31 starts every season since 2008, and has failed to reach the 200 inning threshold only once during those eight seasons. He has been remarkably durable, and the Cubs didn’t have any issues with his health when they agreed to sign him for $155 million.