Oswalt: 'I didn't want to be labeled as a quitter'

Roy Oswalt left Tuesday's start with pain in his lower back. (Ron Cortes/Staff file photo)

 Still have a story to write, but here is a quick transcription of Roy Oswalt's comments to the media tonight.

He said an MRI a year or two ago revealed two degenerative discs. He doesn't think it has gotten to the point where they are bulging. He doubts he will make his next start. He has an MRI scheduled for Monday, and they'll compare that MRI to the previous one.

This isn't something that a shot will fix. Oswalt said he has already had a lot of shots, and any more there is a risk of "stuff breaking off."

"At this point, I'm not really helping the team," he said. "I'm more of a liability more than anything. See where I'm at, and if it is something i have to get fixed, I have to get it fixed. Just see where it's at. I don't know."

Hard to leave tonight's game?

"I really wasn't productive," he said. "I was more heaving the ball than throwing the ball. Tried to get out of a jam. Had one guy strike out, and couldn't get the ball far enough in on Theriot. See what it looks like Monday. I don't think it's doing no good to keep going out there and not really doing too much, going six innings at a time. I tried to stay in there as long as I could, but you can only pitch if you don't have any pain.

Is surgery an option?

"I don't know. It hasn't gotten to the point where it has bulged yet, I don't think. Hopefully not. That's doctor stuff. They know more about it than I do. Just see where I'm at."

Take a cortisone shot?

"You only get so many shots. After you get so many of them, stuff starts breaking off, so, I don't want that to happen."

Is he frightened about his career?

"Just like I said before, you throw as long as you can throw, and when you can't throw no more, you can't throw no more. I'm going to keep throwing as long as I can, and hopefully it's not gotten to the point where I can't throw no more. But if it's gotten to that point, you just have to accept it."

When does he feel it?

"I feel it when I sit down and I stand up, when I walk, pitch, sleep."

Does he think about what this means for his career?

"I've had a pretty good one (laughs). I don't know. I'm going to do what's best for the team. If I can't pitch, I can't pitch. I'm not going to keep going out there and being a liability for the bullpen to pick me up. If it's gotten to that point, it's gotten to that point. We'll just see what the doctor says on the MRI and go from there."

And, finally, somebody asked him why he continued to pitch through the pain if it hurts him at all times.

Oswalt thought for a second, then said, "I don't want to be labeled as a quitter."

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