D-Backs' Patrick Corbin has damaged UCL, might undergo Tommy John
It's bad news for Arizona left-hander Patrick Corbin, who may be facing season-ending surgery.
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As noted in this space, Diamondbacks lefty and scheduled opening day starter Patrick Corbin was forced to leave Saturday's game with forearm stiffness. Now, the news gets worse:
MRI on Patrick Corbin showed "damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow," team says in statement. Will seek 2nd opinion.— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) March 16, 2014
Damage to the UCL, of course, most often results in Tommy John surgery. If that's the case, then Corbin will miss the entirety of the 2014 season. Elsewhere, Piecoro writes that it indeed "appears he [Corbin] could be headed toward season-ending Tommy John surgery." Even if that doesn't come to pass, Corbin is still looking at a lengthy absence.
On Sunday, Corbin addressed the media. Here's one excerpt:
The original diagnosis was partial tear of the elbow, Patrick Corbin says. He will now decide whether to have surgery or try rehab #DBacks— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 16, 2014
Anecdotally, it seems the rehab route does nothing but delay the inevitable surgical procedure, but Corbin is of course wise to weigh his options here in the early going.
Corbin, 24, is coming off a 2013 season in which he pitched to a 3.41 ERA (112 ERA+) and 3.30 K/BB ratio in 208 1/3 innings of work and made the All-Star team. Suffice it to say, this figures to be a big blow for a team with designs on contention in 2014.