Orioles reliever Jamie Walker will not need surgery on his left elbow, his agent said yesterday. Walker spent the past two days in Birmingham, Ala., getting examined by noted orthopedist Dr. James Andrews.
"He had his second appointment with Dr. Andrews today, and Dr. Andrews gave him a clean bill of health," said Phil Tannenbaum, Walker's agent. "He prescribed a little bit of rest and some exercises, and [Walker] should be ready to go for spring training."
Walker, 37, who had been one of the most effective situational left-handers in baseball, is coming off perhaps the worst season of his major league career, which spans parts of nine seasons. He had a 6.87 ERA in 59 appearances, allowing 53 hits, including 12 home runs, over 38 innings.
Walker, who spent more than a month on the disabled list with left elbow irritation, acknowledged experiencing some discomfort in his elbow but refused to use that as an excuse for his struggles. A magnetic resonance imaging taken on his elbow the last week of the season revealed no further damage, but Walker decided to get a second opinion.
He's entering the final season of a three-year, $12 million deal he signed in November 2006.