To start the season, he was a valued member of the bullpen and was then thrust into a starting role once Jair Jurrjens hit the disabled list. Jurrjens is back now, but Medlen retained his spot over Kenshin Kawakami -- demoted on Sunday in favor of top prospect Mike Minor, drawing the start Monday -- and cobbled together a 6-2 record over 107 2/3 total innings. His 3.68 ERA and stingy 1.8 walks per nine were a welcome addition to the Braves' rotation.
Unfortunately, Medlen left Wednesday's game with an injury that was later diagnosed as a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament. Tommy John surgery is a possibility, although the team and Medlen himself is hoping rest cures his ails. But when does that ever work?
Top Tommy John surgeons in Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Lewis Yocum have prescribed a couple weeks rest, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution . As a result, Medlen will be evaluated next weekend, with a decision on surgery thereafter.
“It’s going to depend on the exam they’ll give me on Saturday or Sunday, and then if it goes good, I’ll probably toss to see,” Medlen said. “As of right now, I don’t think it’s going to be better, but it’s only been four days.”
If and when Medlen goes under the knife, he will require roughly a full year to get back to appearing in major-league games. It will continue to take a few months after that for him to return to maximum performance.-- Evan Brunell
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