Two-way star Shohei Ohtani underwent elbow surgery on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Angels announced Via a statement from his agent. Here’s what you need to know:
- The procedure was performed by Dr. Neil El-Atrash, who said he expects Ohtani to recover in time to bat in 2024 and play in 2025.
- Ohtani was placed on the 10-day injured list on September 16 with an oblique injury and the team said he would not play again this season. The 29-year-old missed 11 games due to injury before going to Elle, and also tore his elbow in the Champions League, it was revealed last month.
- The 2021 American League MVP is hitting .304 with 44 home runs this season. Ohtani was 10-5 on the mound with a 3.14 ERA.
what are they saying
“The final decision and type of action were made with a strong focus on the big picture,” Ohtani’s agent, Nez Balilo, said. “Shohei wanted to make sure that the direction he took gave him every opportunity to hit and throw for many years to come.”
Al-Atrash added: “The final plan after consulting with Shohei was to fix the problem at hand and reinforce the healthy ligament in place while adding viable tissue for the longevity of the elbow. I expect a full recovery and will be ready to hit without any restrictions on Opening Day in 2024 and do both (hitting and pitching) in 2025.
The athlete Real-time analysis:
How surprising is this?
Perhaps the most notable part of this statement is that Balilo refuses to mention Ohtani’s surgery. It’s difficult to evaluate expectations for anything without knowing that information. And it would be difficult to say with any certainty that Ohtani would be able to have success on Opening Day if he had Tommy John surgery.
However, based on the description provided, it does not appear that Ohtani underwent Tommy John surgery. This entire process was very chaotic and was made even more complicated by Ohtani and his representatives’ refusal to provide information. What is clear is that Ohtani wanted to continue the rest of the season, but when that became impossible, he immediately turned his attention to surgery. — Bloom
What is Ohtani’s timeline for recovery?
Ohtani clearly wants to get back to being the elite two-way player that defined his last three seasons. It won’t be easy. A second elbow repair could be a long process, and could impact his ability to play full-time next season. Balilo offered an option here that appears to allow Ohtani to be a full-time hitter next year, and a full-time pitcher in 2025. But the exact path to the best-case scenario projections is unclear without more information. — Bloom
What does this mean for his pitching career
It is no surprise that Ohtani will not play next season. A MCL tear that occurs in August will, in most cases, require a pitcher to miss the entire following season as well. But it is important that he intends to become a full-time player again as soon as possible. Ohtani’s value as a free agent is tied to his performance as a hitter and pitcher, and Ohtani isn’t letting a second tear in his elbow change his plans to continue being a two-way star. — Bloom
(Photo: Kiyoshi Mio/USA Today)