SAN DIEGO -- Just over a week after it was determined Padres pitcher Cory Luebke would need a second surgery on his left elbow, he took part in an autograph session during FanFest at Petco Park.
Fans might have received his autograph, but Luebke received something else -- compassion and even a sense of encouragement from fans about his plight.
"They were great," Luebke said. "There was a ton of support out there. A lot of people want to see me back out there [on the field]. I want to see me back out there. Right now, I'm looking forward to getting this thing right and getting back out there."
Luebke missed all of last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery on May 23, 2012. But he encountered some setbacks during the rehab and a recent MRI showed a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament, meaning he'll need a second surgery.
He's scheduled to meet with Dr. James Andrews in his Pensacola office on Feb. 17 with surgery set for the following day. Andrews performed the same surgery on Padres pitcher Casey Kelly on April 2 of last season.
At this point, Luebke is only looking forward and refuses to feel sorry for himself.
"Everything that's happened before is water under the bridge," he said. "The only frustrating part for me is we were rehabbing something that couldn't be rehabbed. But now we've got a chance to get it right. We're going to take the next steps to get back out there."