It solely took two days for Shohei Ohtani’s elbow damage to go from unhealthy to doubtlessly worse. After the Los Angeles Angels introduced on Friday that Ohtani was going on the disabled list with a grade 2 strain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, the baseball world is now questioning whether or not he’ll need Tommy John surgical procedure, which may preserve him out till 2020.
That chatter was spurred by ESPN’s Pedro Gomez, who reported Sunday that Ohtani will “probably” need elbow surgery. However, the Angels denied that report Monday saying nothing has modified for the reason that unique prognosis.
Here’s what Gomez stated Sunday evening:
“The Angels are holding out hope that (Ohtani won’t need surgery), but everything I’m hearing is that the reality is he probably will need Tommy John surgery. They’re trying to hold out because they’re in the middle of a season, they’re kind of competitive right now, he is their best pitcher. But, it doesn’t look good at this point.”
Gomez stated that he’s reporting what he’s heard from his sources, so it’s simply an unconfirmed report at this level. But contemplating that Ohtani’s UCL pressure has gotten worse over time, it’s not exhausting to consider that Tommy John surgical procedure may very well be in his future.
Here’s how Angels GM Billy Eppler responded to Gomez’s report.
#Angels GM Billy Eppler: “There have been no changes in Ohtani’s diagnosis and neither our physicians nor medical staff have recommended (Tommy John surgery) or said it’s likely.”
The Angels introduced Friday that Ohtani has a grade 2 sprain of the UCL in his proper elbow.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 11, 2018
Despite the Angels’ remark, the true gut-punch of the report, in addition to that he “probably” wants Tommy John surgical procedure, is the timeframe. If Ohtani has Tommy John now, he would most probably miss the remainder of the 2018 season AND the whole thing of 2019 season. The earliest he’d be again can be spring coaching 2020. That’s 20 long, Ohtani-free months.
Ohtani was diagnosed with a grade 1 UCL strain back in November, earlier than he signed with the Angels. The Angels knew about it, and presumably signed off on his beneficial therapy: a platelet-rich plasma injection and relaxation. Ohtani was in a position to begin the season on time, and he carried out brilliantly. However, his UCL was persevering with to worsen. ESPN Stats and Info tweeted an fascinating statistic about UCL damage therapies and Tommy John surgical procedure on Friday.
Shohei Ohtani will probably be positioned on the DL with a grade 2 sprain of the UCL after receiving a PRP and Stem Cell injection. Of the 33 situations of PRP injections for UCL accidents that Jon Roegele has confirmed (since 2008), 16 (48.5%) have in the end led to Tommy John Surgery.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 8, 2018
That stat offers a bit hope, however it’s necessary to do not forget that Ohtani obtained a PRP injection in November after his grade 1 pressure and in June after his grade 2 pressure. After two injections for progressively worse UCL strains, his possibilities of getting Tommy John could be increased.
The Angels have a bit historical past with UCL strains, although. In May 2016, Garrett Richards had a big tear of his UCL, however opted for stem cell remedy and relaxation as an alternative of surgical procedure. He missed the remainder of the 2016 season, however was in a position to begin the 2017 season. Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees was additionally in a position to keep away from surgical procedure to restore his partially torn UCL in 2014, equally getting a stem cell injection and resting for a number of months. These two circumstances are removed from the norm, however it exhibits that it’s doable to keep away from Tommy John if the scenario is correct.
Though Ohtani “probably” wants Tommy John surgical procedure, there’s no hurt in ready to see how issues look in a couple of weeks. When the Angels introduced Ohtani was happening the DL, in addition they stated he acquired a platelet-rich plasma injection and can be evaluated once more in three weeks. If he’s going to overlook all the 2019 season it doesn’t matter what, ready a couple of extra weeks isn’t going to harm something — even when it feels prefer it’s simply prolonging the inevitable.