The Toronto righty suffered the unexpected complication shortly after having a platelet-rich plasma injection by Dr. James Andrews to treat inflammation in his shoulder.
The problems started almost immediately after the initial procedure, which made Litsch realize something had gone wrong and decided to get it checked out.
"I've had PRPs before, so I knew what it had felt like, but it was an intense pain that I had never felt before, and I have a very high tolerance for pain," Litsch said. "So I kind of gave it a day and then went to the emergency room. I went there once, they let me go, and I went back there that night, and that's when [team Dr. Steven] Mirabello stepped in, did his thing, and made things happen."
Litsch underwent arthroscopic surgery to have the infection cleaned out and now faces a long road to recovery. The native of Florida was wearing a fanny pack with an IV connected into his arm that fills his body with antibiotics.
The 27-year-old is required to keep the tube connected at all times and could be forced to remain that way for the next four-to-six weeks. Litsch won't know a timetable for when he can resume throwing until a much later date, as the team's doctors first need to ensure that the infection has gone away for good.
"I started moving it yesterday, which helped me sleep a lot," Litsch said of the shoulder. "So that's progress in the right direction for sure, and just go get therapy every day or three times a week, I'm not sure how that will work, but just to be able to be at the field is going to be cool."
Litsch was competing for one of the final two spots in Toronto's bullpen prior to his latest setback. Those two jobs are expected to go to right-hander Carlos Villanueva and lefty Luis Perez.