Oakland A’s Daulton Jefferies back from thoracic outlet surgery


OAKLAND – Right-hander Daulton Jefferies enjoyed being back around his teammates in the A’s clubhouse Friday, but there was one drawback.

“The only thing is kind of hurts to laugh,” Jefferies said. “That’s the only unfortunate thing about being around these guys.”

Jefferies underwent thoracic outlet surgery Monday in Dallas by Dr. Greg Pearl, a procedure that included the removal of his first rib, and returned to Oakland on Thursday.

Jefferies will miss the rest of this season as he won’t throw again for roughly another four months. He is optimistic, though, that he’ll be able to have a healthy offseason and participate in spring training next year. He’ll remain in Oakland during his recovery.

“Trying to think long term on it,” Jefferies said. “At the same time, in the short term, you have to go through these different phases to get to the long term. Looking forward to throwing again and just having the reassurance of knowing what the problem was.”

Outcomes for pitchers who have had thoracic outlet syndrome can vary from one player to the next. The syndrome has ended some careers but has prolonged others.

Jefferies has spoken with other pitchers who had the same surgery, including A’s right-hander Frankie Montas, who had the surgery in Feb. 2016 and pitched again in the minor leagues later that year before he returned to the majors in 2017.

Former A’s pitcher Andrew Triggs also had the surgery in Sept. 2018 and returned to MLB in 2020 for one more season.

“It’s not going be an easy road, and we’ve talked about that,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said of Jefferies’ recovery. “But you have to believe that when you get through this and you come out the other side, you’re going to be healthy and have another opportunity to get back to the major leagues and pitch here.”

Jefferies, 26, said he always pitched with a bit of discomfort since he was a freshman at Cal in 2014. But it wasn’t until his last outing for the A’s on May 18 at home against Minnesota that he was “zapped” by the pain, as he was sidelined with right arm nerve irritation. At that time, Jefferies was 1-7 with a 5.72 earned run average in eight starts.

“The second day after surgery, my (right) hand felt like a normal hand again. It felt like my left hand,” Jefferies said. “I feel good now, knowing that that was the issue, knowing that we just move forward.”

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