Obviously, Royals left-hander Danny Duffy is hugely disappointed over the likelihood of having to have Tommy John elbow surgery soon.
But Duffy also sees no reason why he can't come back better and stronger sometime during the 2013 season.
"I'm very positive going in," Duffy said Wednesday, speaking publicly for the first time since he was diagnosed as having a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow.
"They've got the surgery down to a science now. I feel very lucky to have this happen in this period of time as opposed to 20 years ago. Dr. (Lewis) Yocum or whoever it's going to be to do the surgery will do a great job. You can come back stronger. Just look at (Stephen) Strasburg. I could name a bunch of people."
Straburg, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2009 draft, had Tommy John surgery in 2010. He now leads the Washington Nationals with a 3-1 record and a 2.25 ERA.
"You have to stay positive," Duffy said. "My goal is to come back by next June. That will depend obviously on how hard I work in rehab."
Duffy first experienced elbow issues back in 2010. He felt some pain in the elbow again this April, was shut down for a start, and then felt discomfort again in his last start on Sunday against the Chicago White Sox. Duffy said he felt the Royals did the right thing by letting him pitch again after he originally felt some pain in April.
"It's very frustrating," Duffy said. "It's something I can't control. We have the best training staff in baseball, in my opinion. I had the problem back in 2010, and I got over it.
"But once you do something like that to a ligament, it never really goes away. I did everything I could and the training staff did everything they could to help it not come back. But sometimes it's out of your control."
Duffy said he probably would have surgery within the next two weeks. First, he'll visit with Dr. Yocum on Friday in Tempe, Ariz., to get another opinion.
Asked if he thought there was any chance Dr. Yocum might not recommend surgery, Duffy laughed and said, "If he tells me I don't need it, yeah, I'm going to feel pretty pumped. But you have to prepare for the worst. I'm a guy who likes to have a plan, so I'll brace for the worst. Just rehab my butt off for 12 months. That's my plan."
Duffy said his elbow felt fine during warm-ups Sunday and didn't feel any pain until his second pitch of the game.
"I threw the first pitch and got through it real nice," he said. "Second pitch, I tried to go up and in. That's when I felt it. From then on, each pitch was kind of hectic. I can't thank (catcher Humberto) Quintero enough for coming to get me. He's a seasoned vet who saw something. It could have ended up a lot worse."
Duffy, 23, is the Royals' top pitching prospect and seemed poised to have a big season. His fastball was reaching 97 mph, and his command was greatly improved from last season. He will finish the season at 2-2 with a 3.90 ERA.
"I'm not going to get too down on myself," he said. "I'm just going to miss being around my family (the Royals) for awhile. It's going to be tough watching the games and not being able to help out. We'll go from there. I'll keep my spirits up. This happened for a reason. I have to believe that."
Duffy said he will continue to support his teammates, especially through his Twitter account. On Tuesday night, Duffy tweeted virtually a play-by-play of the Royals game. He said he will continue to tweet about the Royals as he rehabs.
"Oh, yes, believe it," he said, smiling. "I can't text my teammates during the game so I have to tweet. It's the only way I can cheers my guys on. That was a lot of fun the other night and I loved seeing the fans' reaction. That was great."