Henderson down 4 months after shoulder surgery

At least Brewers reliever Jim Henderson had a smile on his face Tuesday as a tough 2014 season came to a formal end. 

The former closer faces a four-month rehabilitation after undergoing surgery to clean-up the labrum and rotator cuff in his right shoulder, a procedure recommended last week after a visit with Brewers head physician Dr. William Raasch. Henderson had the surgery with Dr. James Andrews on Tuesday morning in Florida after a second opinion confirmed the diagnosis. 

“Round 2!” Henderson told his more than 13,000 followers on Twitter when he posted a photo of himself smiling on a hospital bed. 

Henderson also had surgery on the shoulder in 2008 when he was in the Cubs organization. He signed with the Brewers the following April and was a 26-year-old closer at Class A Wisconsin, beginning a resurgence that led to the Major Leagues in 2012 after parts of 10 seasons in the Minors, and a closer’s role in 2013 after John Axford struggled. Henderson went 28-for-32 in save opportunities, and was expected to reprise the role in 2014. <

Concerns about his Spring Training velocities led to a change to Francisco Rodriguez. Henderson was placed on the DL in early May after posting a 7.15 ERA in 14 games.

“It’s a tough road. Rehabbing is always tough,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “I’m sure he’s got questions about whether he’s going to come back or not. That’s a tough thing to go through. Not a good year for it. Mentally, you get through it and hopefully you heal up physically and are able to get back out there.”

Henderson will turn 32 in October and would remain a cost-effective option for the Brewers next season if he can reclaim his velocity. He doesn’t project to reach arbitration eligibility until the 2015-16 offseason.

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