Los Angeles Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani will undergo Tommy John surgery the first week of the offseason, the team announced Tuesday.
Update on Shohei Ohtani:
Shohei Ohtani will undergo UCL reconstruction surgery during the first week of the off-season. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles. Additional information will be provided when appropriate.
— Angels (@Angels) September 25, 2018
The decision comes less than a month after it was revealed he had new ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) damage in his pitching elbow.
On September 5, the Angels announced that Ohtani’s pitching elbow had new damage. But at that time, the 24-year-old rookie hadn’t made a decision regarding surgery. Instead, he decided to finish out the season as a designated hitter. Ohtani, who throws right-handed and bats left-handed, could possibly return next season — but only as a batter. It’s not likely that he would return to pitching before 2020.
Don’t underestimate the two-way player, though. Shortly after his diagnosis, the phenom continued on his hot-streak. In 307 at bats, he’s hitting .280 with 21 home runs, 56 RBI and .925 OPS. Ohtani finished his pitching season with a 4-2 record and 3.31 ERA over 51.2 innings pitched. These are great numbers, especially for a two-way player — who’s also dealt with a throwing arm injury since June.
After a 2.1 inning start in June, which led to the injury, Ohtani didn’t return to the mound until September 2. He was initially treated with a platelet-rich plasma injection and stem cell injection before returning to hitting in July.
Now, Angels fans will pray that the surgery — and recovery process — brings Ohtani back healthy before they know it.
Meanwhile, the Angels are 76-81 on the season. They’re not going anywhere this season. And if they have hopes of going somewhere next season, they’ll need Ohtani. Here’s to hoping for a speedy recovery.