Fair or not, the veteran left-handed hurler knows the connection is there, and he admitted Wednesday that he has thought about it himself.
"You know, this definitely wasn't intentional," Danks said. "I've pitched in pain or discomfort before, and that's what I thought this was, just to a bigger degree.
"This couldn't have gone any worse from what I planned. You sign a five-year deal and I expected to be the anchor of the staff for five years. I'm not saying I can't be for the next four, but I definitely got off on the wrong foot.
"It's tough, because they put a lot of trust and faith in me and gave me a lot of money," Danks said. "To this point, I certainly haven't earned it."
Danks posted a 3-4 record with a 5.70 ERA and just 30 strikeouts over 53 2/3 innings covering nine starts this season. He hopes part of those struggles could be attributed to what has been diagnosed as the subscapularis strain in his left shoulder, although Monday's surgery will show if there's greater damage.
Danks will not use the possibility of injury as an excuse for his subpar early results.
"If I take the ball, that's because I truly think I can give us a chance to win," Danks said. "But when I was struggling to play catch two or three days after my start, that's when I thought something was up. I thought for sure that it was something abnormal going on, but I didn't expect this.
"Definitely, it's a tough deal. But I'm not the first guy to have to go through it. There have been a lot of guys that have gone through this and come back feeling good and have had success beyond this."
That thought process sustains Danks. It gives the already intense competitor an extra push to hopefully come back healthy by Spring Training, assuming everything checks out Monday morning.
"There have been some days that have gotten -- I've been down pretty low," Danks said. "There's a real good support system, with family, friends and teammates and medical staff and coaches. The list goes on. I feel very fortunate to have the people in my corner that I do.
"Even if I was making league minimum ... money is certainly not the reason you play, but it's just a fact. So, it's tough. It's something I'll deal with, and it will be that extra motivation this offseason when I'm going through the rehab and getting ready for next year. It will do nothing but fuel my fire and put some good pressure on me to come back and truly live up to the contract."