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Danny Picard: David Price's arm is a complicated, potentially major issue

Can David Price stay healthy this season?Getty Images

While drooling over the New England Patriots' offseason, it's possible you missed a spring-training storyline that isn't exactly a nonstory.

Red Sox starter David Price will begin the regular season on the disabled list. Unfortunately, it's not that simple.

Two weeks ago, Price was scratched from his first spring-training start of 2017. He was experiencing soreness in his throwing forearm and elbow. After having an MRI and consulting with specialists, Price decided to get a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews.

The result of that visit with Andrews? No surgery. No injection. Just rest, medication and treatment. For now, at least.

The 31-year-old Price is throwing again. He said this week that the pain is gone, and that he's no longer taking any medication.

All good then, right? Well, not really.

Price went on to say this week that, had he been "22 or 23" years old, he would have been told to have surgery. So obviously there's something going on, physically, with Price's throwing arm.

We don't even really know what type of injury Price is dealing with. He told reporters this week that doctors used medical terms that were unknown to him. All he knows is that, if he were 10 years younger, he'd be having surgery.

This has officially become more than just coffee and conversation. If you admit you'd be having surgery on this situation 10 years ago, there's obviously something going on in there that needs to be repaired. And if this wasn't a situation at all, there would be no DL stint to begin the season.

So, here are my questions: What if this soreness in the forearm and elbow comes back again during the season? Will there be another MRI? Will there then be another visit to Andrews for another second opinion?

Price returned from his original doctor's visit telling reporters he was told he has a "unique" elbow.

"They're like, 'Your elbow is extremely unique. It's found a way to kind of heal itself,'" said Price. "So it's pretty neat."

But again, if he were "22 or 23," he'd be having surgery.

My advice would be to have surgery right now. Because if you think there's any chance this soreness could return, then the decision to have surgery at a later date would not only wipe out his 2017 season, but probably most of 2018, too.

So why wait?

Price and the Red Sox have decided on a rest-and-recovery solution to what could potentially be a very big issue. To me, this seems more like Price wanting to prove to Boston that he can play through the pain than it is him and the team wanting to actually play it smart.

He cares what the fans here think. Just look at his Twitter account. Better yet, take a ride with him through the Starbucks drive through at 6:30 a.m.

Price knows how upset people would be to hear that he'd miss his entire second season with the Red Sox if he had surgery in spring training. So he'll show everyone he's not going down that easy, not after the huge contract he just signed, and certainly not after another postseason stinker.

Perhaps he cares too much about what people think. But I've got news for him: Those same people will be even more upset if he waits on a surgery that might be inevitable and forces him to miss two full seasons instead of just one.

That's if the surgery is, in fact, inevitable. Which we don't know for sure, because again, we don't even know what the injury or the extent of the damage is.

All we know is that if he were in his early 20s, his season would already be over.

Listen to “The Danny Picard Show” at dannypicard.com, iTunes and Google Play. Danny can also be heard weekends on WEEI 93.7 FM. Follow him on Twitter @DannyPicard

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