Rockies' Rafael Betancourt has torn elbow ligament, will attempt rehab

Rafael Betancourt will try to avoid what might be career-ending elbow surgery.
Rafael Betancourt will try to avoid what might be career-ending elbow surgery. (USATSI)

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Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt has a partially torn right elbow ligament, according to the Associated Press. He will have platelet-rich plasma therapy instead of Tommy John surgery in hopes of returning to the team sooner.

Betancourt, 38, suffered the injury last Thursday in a game against the Phillies. "It's not good. ... It's very sore right now. I have gone through a lot of pain throughout my whole career, but this is completely different. I could not throw another pitch," he said afterward. An MRI on Monday confirmed the diagnosis.

This is Betancourt's third DL trip of the season after missing time with an appendectomy and a groin strain. He has had numerous run-ins with shoulder inflammation throughout his 11-year big-league career, but this is his first elbow injury.

In 32 games before blowing out his elbow, Betancourt had a 4.08 ERA and a career-worst 2.45 K/BB in 28 2/3 innings. He posted a stellar 7.82 K/BB from 2010-12. Betancourt went 16 for 19 in save chances in his second full season as the team's closer.

It's understandable why Betancourt would attempt to rehab the injury over having surgery. At his age, missing a full year due to Tommy John surgery could very well be a career-ender.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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