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Rangers’ Yu Darvish Could Be Headed for Tommy John Surgery

Staff ace has a torn UCL in his right elbow, exits spring debut Thursday after one inning

This is not the news that the Texas Rangers wanted. The ace of their staff and in many ways the face of their franchise is likely out for the entire season. Yu Darvish, the powerful right-handed anchor of their starting rotation left his spring debut after just one inning of work on Thursday citing soreness in his right elbow. Darvish had an MRI on Friday which revealed the severity of his injury, and will now explore his options for treatment. Most pitchers who suffer from this form of injury opt for Tommy John surgery, and if Darvish does go that route, he could be sidelined until sometime in the summer of 2016.

Darvish missed the last seven weeks of the 2014 campaign due to mild inflammation in his right elbow and was more-or-less shut down this offseason in an effort the Rangers referred to as “rest and rehab”. Darvish felt discomfort in the elbow warming up for his start on Thursday, and after the discomfort did not subside after his first inning of work, the decision was made to shut him down. What bothers both the team doctors and Darvish is the fact that MRIs taken in November and January showed no serious damage to his elbow, while the MRI taken on Friday shows damage to the fibers of his ligament. The Rangers estimate that it could take up to four months of rest for the elbow to attempt to heal on its own, an option that both the club and Darvish are weighing in lieu of Tommy John surgery.

This will mark the second year that Darvish will have spent significant time on the disabled list and continues the injury woes which plagued the club throughout the 2014 campaign. The Rangers lost three pitchers during the first two months of the season, and sluggers Prince Fielder and Shin Soo Choo also missed a significant amount of time due to injuries. The Rangers inability to replace their injured players with comparable talent led to them having the worst record in the American League last season going 67-95 and finishing the season in last place, 31 games behind the Los Angeles Angels in the American League West.



Robert Gonzalez

Cleveland Indians Correspondent