When the 2007 season ended, Noah Lowry and San Francisco Giants management never could've predicted that the talk about the health of the 28-year-old gifted left arm would still be going on.
However, that's the case as Spring Training 2009 enters Week Two.
After missing all of the 2008 season due numerous surgeries and setbacks, Lowry has already had tightness behind his left shoulder in the first few days of the spring.
Now it has been reported that he has a "cranky" left elbow, something that is certainly raising more red flags than just a little tightness as the result of an increased workload in his throwing program.
He isn't scheduled to throw until at least this weekend and now his status for the rest of the spring is up in the air. Not exactly the news you want to hear when you're trying to beat incumbent Jonathan Sanhez for the Giants' fifth-starter spot.
It would still be an uphill battle for Lowry to overtake Sanchez in the rotation if he was completely healthy.
But things were looking good for Lowry to at least make things interesting this summer.
After his up-and-down 2008 when he seemed to hit a nice spell of time where there was nothing but positive news about his rehabilitation. In the weeks leading up to Spring Training, everything looked good for Lowry to at least make things interesting before the regular season started.
Now things aren't looking good once again.
And with two highly-touted pitching prospects expected to make their debuts at some point in the 2010 season, it's hard to think that if Lowry continues to have one setback after another, he will be in the Giants' long-term plans.
Waiting to see if Lowry will be healthy again is basically all the Giants can do at this point.
General manager Brian Sabean has said anything that Lowry brought to the club in the early parts of the season would be a plus, whether that is in actual production or as trade bait to bring in a much-needed bat to the lineup.
However, one would have to think that with all the injury problems he has had in the past year-and-a-half, his trade value isn't even close to what it was.