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Aardsma might need elbow surgery

The Sports Xchange
Aardsma might need elbow surgery · Roster Report · Notes, Quotes

Just when they thought closer David Aardsma was a week or less away from coming off the disabled list, the Mariners are now facing the very real possibility that Aardsma won't pitch again this year.

An MRI over the weekend showed that the veteran, who is coming back from hip surgery, may be facing surgery on his right elbow.

The club announced Tuesday that team medical director Edward Khalfayan's review of Aardsma's MRI has led to a diagnosis of a Grade 2 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in the closer's right elbow.

The Mariners will have Aardsma visit Dr. Lewis Yocum on Thursday to get a second opinion. At that point, Khalfayan and Yocum will put their heads together to formulate a plan.

At the extreme end of the possibilities is Tommy John-style ligament replacement surgery. Rest coupled with rehabilitation could be the course recommended if the damage isn't quite as severe.

"There is a level of concern," manager Eric Wedge said before the Mariners' 7-6, 13-inning loss at Baltimore. "He'll get the second opinion, and we'll decide what we're going to do from there. Hopefully, the second opinion is favorable in regard to what plan of attack we're going to have with David moving forward. But yeah, I think there's reason for concern."

Aardsma was on an injury rehabilitation assignment last week and was seemingly days away from a return from his hip problems when he felt discomfort in his forearm that he described as "tightness."

If the recommendation is for rest and rehabilitation, Aardsma will not be able to test his elbow for two or even three weeks. A call for surgery means he likely won't be pitching before next March.

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