White Sox pitcher Gavin Floyd left for New York Sunday for his Monday morning appointment with orthopedic surgeon David Altchek, who may recommend season-ending Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.
"Somebody said there are two pitchers, those who've had Tommy John and those are going to have it,'' said Floyd, who ranks seventh or better among American League right-handers since 2008 in wins, innings pitched, strikeouts, starts and quality starts.
Floyd said rehab is a potential alternative, but he knows surgery is a strong possibility. Altchek's will be the third opinion for Floyd, who could make the decision as soon as Monday.
The exam will be "pretty thorough, but ultimately you're not going to know exactly what kind of shape it's in until they go in there,'' Floyd said.
Tommy John surgery is reconstruction of the ulnar collateral ligament, which is replaced with another tendon from the body.
That Floyd is a free agent after the season adds to the emotional stress - it could mean he's thrown his last pitch for a team he's been with since 2007 - but Floyd is at peace with whatever happens.
"I've prayed about it,'' he said. "God is in control. I trust in that.
"I've done everything I can to stay healthy. You just wonder if it's unpreventable after a while. You can only do so much. You want to be strong.''
Sox lefthander Matt Thornton had Tommy John when he was in the Seattle Mariners organization in 2002.
"I just remember the fear of the unknown,'' Thornton said. "They say the success rate of elbow surgery is great and 90-some percent come back better and all that stuff, but still you're having surgery. That's always a worrisome time.''
"When I found out, it was crushing, it really is. So I've talked to Gavin a few times and given him advice if that ends up happening. He's a friend of mine. The doubts, the frustration of the setbacks, the aches and pains. ... It's just one of those things, it's a choice you make, but you have to work your tail off and you can come back better than ever. I've seen guys who that had surgeries don't put the time into rehab and don't make it back.''