BOSTON -- Even when Scott Atchison learned in late July that he had some degree of tear in his ulnar collateral ligament, he had conviction he could avoid Tommy John surgery. And there the right-hander was, back on Boston's roster for Wednesday's game against the Yankees.
"When they said he might not pitch again [this season], I looked in his eyes, and he said, 'No, I'm going to pitch. This is easy,'" said manager Bobby Valentine. "He researched a little, found out that some other people had the same injury as he did and came back and pitched. He went down and shut people out in the Minor Leagues, and now he's back in the big leagues. It's a credit to him as a person, as well as him as a pitcher. He's special."
Atchison, who was activated off the 60-day disabled list, pitched as well as anyone on Boston's pitching staff throughout the first half, going 2-1 with a 1.76 ERA in 37 games.
"Any time you have any kind of injuries, it's always tough," Atchison said. "I just feel like we've made the right steps. And like I said, I'm excited to get back out there. It's disappointing that I had to miss a couple of months, but we've gotten through that and now I'll finish up strong and take it to the offseason."
The way Atchison's elbow has felt lately between outings, he feels confident he made the right decision to decline surgery.
"So far it's been good, no problems," said Atchison. "I don't foresee any. I just want to get a few outings in and finish off proving to myself that everything is OK."