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2023 Cubs player profiles: Adrian Sampson

32nd in a series. If Sampson pitches at all this year, it’ll be late, and with an eye toward possibly retaining his services. He’s not going to be any help this year.

Adrian Sampson pitching during 2023 Spring Training
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Redmond, Washington native Adrian David Sampson was last seen in these parts during Spring Training. He was recently transferred from the minor league seven-day Injured List to the 60-Day list, which might or might not leave him available for late-season innings, depending on the actual length of his stay and the need for his arm.

He’s been decent in a long man/break-glass starter role for two years, and there’s no real reason to think that he wouldn’t be, were he healthy and activated. He’s a prototype sixth starter with occasional flashes of a No. 4 or No. 5. That’s all he’s ever going to be, and that’s fine. A functioning major-league team needs 7 or 8 starters.

That took place on May 5. The general consensus is that it takes four months to recover from debridement; more for repair.

The meniscal debridement procedure is performed arthroscopically, with tiny surgical instruments inserted through very small incisions. This technique is more commonly used than repair due to the limited blood supply in the meniscus, which makes healing difficult. A debridement procedure involves removing the torn section of the meniscus, resulting in a smaller, but fully healthy, piece of cartilage that remains.

Recovery from meniscal repair surgery generally takes much longer than recovery from debridement. The repair requires additional time to heal, so patients must wear a supportive brace on the affected knee for four to six weeks post surgery to restrict movement. Physical therapy is recommended for several weeks to two months in order to restore flexibility and strength to the knee. Full recovery, including a resumption of athletic pursuits, may take approximately four months.

Following a meniscal debridement procedure, patients typically require the use of an assistive device such as crutches for the first few days to prevent bearing too much weight on the healing leg. Most patients can return to typical daily activities after a week and resume sports activities within two months. Physical therapy may be beneficial as well in promoting healing and helping the knee to regain complete function once again.

Surgery on a torn meniscus is common and considered very safe. However, all forms of surgery carry some risk. The risks typically associated with either a meniscal repair or debridement procedure may include infection, bleeding, injury to the meniscus or ligaments in the knee, formation of a blood clot, nerve or blood vessel damage and stiffness in the knee. — ibid, abridged.

So it’ll be September before Sampson is eligible to come off the list. He may or may not be ready to go by then. The team won’t have much time to evaluate whether the veteran, who is an ARB2 player, will deserve a raise from his $1.9 million contract.

Then again, Sampson himself may decide just to rest the arm until next year and take his chances.

My guess is that he’ll ride off into the sunset and get a minor-league deal with a fill-by date from someone. He could go back to Korea, but he actually wasn’t any great shakes there, either (9-12, 5.40 as opposed to 11-19, 4.43 in MLB).

But you never know. As it becomes increasingly evident that another sell season is upon us, it’s hard to extrapolate the future with any confidence.

Next up: Jeremiah Estrada, Brandon Hughes, Nick Burdi and Ethan Roberts. Minor-leaguers after that.