LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Kris Medlen will have to wait at least one more day to learn whether he needs to undergo Tommy John surgery for the second time in the past four years. But the Braves right-handed pitcher admits he knew he was likely destined for this procedure once he abruptly exited Sunday's start against the Mets.
Medlen underwent an MRI exam on Monday that showed damage around the ulnar collateral ligament of his right elbow. A stress X-ray conducted on Tuesday provided a stronger indication that the ligament damage will need to be surgically repaired.
A definitive decision will likely be made within the next two days. The process has been slowed due to the fact that Dr. James Andrews, who performed Medlen's Tommy John surgery in 2010, is among the contingent of orthopedic surgeons currently attending a conference in New Orleans.
Medlen said it felt like a knife was going through his elbow when he threw a curveball to Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson during the fourth inning of Sunday's game. The sensation was quite similar to what he felt on the last pitch he threw before undergoing surgery in 2010. Still, the righty threw two more pitches to Matt Clark before walking directly toward the dugout and prior to talking to manager Fredi Gonzalez or a member of the club's medical staff.
As Medlen endured what proved to be 13 months of rehab before he returned from the elbow surgery two years ago, he told himself he would never put himself through that again. But now that he is staring at the prospect of doing so, he is willing to accept the even greater challenge that comes with returning from a second Tommy John procedure.
-------- Source: MLB.com