That was quick. There's already been some clarification as to just how much Schilling's injury will affect him next year. According to the Boston Globe, Schilling has elected to go without the surgery and will likely return to action around the All-Star break.
This is good news for the Red Sox. Schilling missed a quarter of the season last year to the same shoulder injury and the team still managed to lead the league in ERA. So it shouldn't be a large blow to the team for him to miss half the season next year. As for how Schilling will perform coming off the injury, that's all speculative at this point. But last year Schilling did his best work of the season, coming off the same injury, to the tune of a 3.34 ERA and a WHIP of 1.06.
It now appears likely that the Red Sox will go into the 2008 season with star prospect Clay Buchholz in their rotation. Buchholz, who will be on an innings cap of about 180, could then get some time off when Schilling returns. And if everything works out to plan, Buchholz will be available for the playoffs in 2008.