It has been a month since Hanley Ramirez injured his non-throwing shoulder in a brazen act of hustling, and it may be seven more months until the Marlins see their star shortstop play again.
Ramirez, who had expected to come off the disabled list earlier this week, underwent an MRI earlier this week after experiencing some shoulder instability.
According to MLB.com, Ramirez felt his left shoulder pop out of its socket momentarily during a rehab assignment at Class A Jupiter on Tuesday, effectively nixing plans for him to join the team on the road later in the week.
It was not the first time his shoulder had popped out of the socket. It first happened on August 10, when he was placed on the disabled list.
Ramirez injured the shoulder last month when he dove for a flyball in short left field.
Ramirez will consult with Dr. Lee Kaplan this weekend. Ramirez may only need to continue resting his shoulder, but he could need surgery. Either way, he seems unlikely to return from the disabled list before the end of the season.
MLB.com reports that though Ramirez underwent surgery on the same shoulder in 2007, a procedure to fix his current shoulder troubles "isn't believed to be as serious as" the 2007 surgery.
The Marlins are almost officially out of playoff contention, and Ramirez' injury troubles in 2011 are at least partly to blame. The Marlins are 50-39 in games Ramirez starts, but are 10-27 the rest of the time.
Throw in the Josh Johnson's season-ending injury in May, and it's easy to see one reason why the Marlins are limping to the finish line this season.