Worst feared for the Beard: San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson likely needs surgery

So clearly, nothing was wrong with Brian Wilson, eh Giants?.

The San Francisco Giants closer is likely headed for surgery on his right elbow after an MRI show structural damage and an issue with the ligament, the Associated Press reported.

FILE - In this July 10, 2011, file photo, San Francisco Giants pitcher Brian Wilson adjusts his neck during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets in San Francisco. Wilson is likely headed for surgery on his right elbow after an MRI showed structural damage and an issue with the ligament, and his season could be in jeopardy. Manager Bruce Bochy and athletic trainer Dave Groeschner say the club will seek at least one other opinion and probably two, including from the renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews, who performs Tommy John elbow-reconstruction surgeries. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

While Saturday’s comes as a bit of a surprise, in another sense it doesn’t at all.

Wilson was handled very delicately all spring. He made a late start before appearing in a spring training game.  Then spent the rest of spring training pitching in minor league games.

He made his regular-season debut on Wednesday in Colorado, giving up one run in a non-save situation.

He recorded his first save of the season Thursday in Colorado, when he pitched the ninth with a three-run lead. After giving up one run, Wilson left the bases loaded before recording the final out.

In that outing, manager Bruce Bochy and trainer Dave Groeschner came out to visit Wilson after the pitcher “tweaked his ankle.” He finished the inning out, even though he had clearly lost velocity on his pitches.

The Associated Press reported that the Giants will seek at least one other opinion, probably two, including renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews.

Wilson, 30, reported discomfort in his elbow on Friday and was sent for tests. Translation: The pain from his “tweaked ankle” radiated all the way to his elbow by Friday.

Actual translation: Wilson never tweaked his ankle at all. Reporters after the game said Wilson did not ice his ankle after the game, and was seen walking with no noticeable limp and in flip-flops.

He was to be examined by team orthopedist Dr. Ken Akizuki on Saturday night.

In the short team, it means that Wilson will undoubtedly be placed on the disabled list, clearing a roster spot for Ryan Vogelsong who will be activated from the DL and make his first start on Sunday.

We’d expect Santiago Casilla to act as the Giants closer for now, but Sergio Romo could also be a candidate.

Look for the Giants to find closer candidates from within the current active roster before going to alternates in the minors, like Fresno closer Heath Hembree.

In the long term, Wilson is making $8.5 million in 2012, and 2013 is his final arbitration eligible season.

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