The fear that Yu Darvish might miss Opening Day has now officially materialized into something significant, as the news that he has been scratched from the start was accompanied by the revelation that he will also require a visit to Dr. Drew Dossett.
Dossett, a back specialist, performed Matt Harrison's surgery last season, and will attempt to either diagnose or rule out any significant issues that may have caused Darvish to experience a stiff neck.
For Darvish's part, he initially said he slept wrong, but the stiffness appears to, at the very least, be something a bit more serious. Last year, Darvish missed a start in Spring Training due to a stiff neck. Furthermore, in September of 2012, he was scratched from a crucial start with... you guessed it, a stiff neck.
Given the history and recurrence of the issue, my fear is that we may be looking at something that will require surgical intervention. Perhaps we'll find out that Darvish has been using an improper pillow all along, but the longer the issue lingers, the less likely that seems to be.
I'm not really of the mindset to consider what the rotation will look like if he's forced to miss significant time in 2014 -- or perhaps the season -- other than to say, man, it's going to be a tough grind if Darvish is on the shelf.