Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka has seen three different doctors, general manager Brian Cashman said on a conference call Thursday (via Yankees.com), all of whom said he has a partially torn ulnar-collateral ligament in his right elbow. None of the three recommend Tommy John surgery, though, the club announced, so instead Tanaka will have a platelet-rich plasma injection and rehab for six weeks.
If this doesn't help him recover, Tommy John surgery would then be a possibility.
The tear is said to be very small, in the 10 percent range, reports Jon Heyman.
This is a still serious blow to the Yankees, though. The 25-year-old right-hander is 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA (159 ERA+), 1.01 WHIP and 135 strikeouts in 129 1/3 innings this season. The Yankees are 13-5 in games he starts and headed into Thursday night 33-39 when he doesn't start.
Tanaka signed a seven-year, $155 million deal with the Yankees this past offseason, and the Yankees also had to pay a $20 million posting fee to the Rakuten Golden Eagles -- Tanaka's NPB club.
After an amazing start to the season (11-1, 1.99 ERA), Tanaka has gone 1-3 with a 4.25 ERA in his last four starts.