Kris Medlen Will Undergo Tommy John Surgery

Brandon Beachy Getting A Second Opinion

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Kris Medlen will undergo Tommy John surgery for the second time.
Kris Medlen will undergo Tommy John surgery for the second time.
- photo by Tim Evearitt
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Braves pitchers Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy received the news they were expecting when they visited Dr. James Andrews at his Pensacola, Fla., office on Monday.

Medlen will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery for the second time in less than four years on Tuesday afternoon. While Beachy seems to still be staring at the likelihood of undergoing this procedure for the second time in less than two years, he will first travel to Los Angeles to get a second opinion from Dr.
Neal ElAttrache.

Before making the six-plus hour drive with Medlen from the Orlando area to Pensacola on Sunday, Beachy indicated that he would be seeking a second opinion regardless of what Dr. Andrews found during his evaluation.

As Medlen and Beachy spent Monday waiting for Dr. Andrews to confirm what had seemingly become inevitable last week, the Braves were in the process of evaluating why so many of their pitchers have recently undergone Tommy John surgery.

Within a span of 24 hours last week, the Braves saw Medlen and Beachy make early exits from their respective starts because of pain and discomfort around their surgically repaired elbows. Medlen immediately knew he was destined to undergo a second Tommy John surgery. Initially optimistic, Beachy was staring at this same likelihood a few days later.

Along with losing two of the top members of their starting rotation, the Braves now have to evaluate what might have led these pitchers to both potentially have to undergo this procedure for a second time in less than four years.

Unfortunately for the Braves, this sudden turn of events conjures memories of what they experienced just 10 months ago, when just a few days separated the revelation that both of their top two projected setup men, Jonny Venters and Eric O'Flaherty, would need to undergo Tommy John surgery.

While O'Flaherty endured the rehab that followed for the first time, Venters had the surgery for the second time since 2005.

Venters at least had the good fortune of seeing his elbow remain structurally sound for at least seven years following the initial procedure. Medlen and Beachy are now staring at the possibility of repeating this procedure much earlier than they could have ever envisioned.

After not pitching much in college and being signed as an undrafted free agent in 2008, Beachy made an unexpected rise to Atlanta's rotation during the final weeks of the 2010 season and spent the first two months of the 2012 season establishing himself as one of the game's top pitchers. But his storybook journey was abruptly halted when he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery on June 21, 2012. Beachy made just five starts last year and eventually had to undergo a cleanup surgery in late September, during which Dr. Andrews removed a floating bone chip from his elbow.

As Beachy made three starts during this year's Grapefruit League season, he was plagued by the same elbow inflammation that caused him so much frustration last year.

Medlen was at least a little more fortunate given that he was able to pitch two full seasons following the 13-month rehab that followed the Tommy John procedure he underwent on Aug. 18, 2010. But it is safe to say he never envisioned Dr. Andrews performing this procedure on him again so soon.

Medlen understands statistics have shown that only 20-30 percent of pitchers who undergo a second Tommy John surgery make a successful return to the Major League level. But at the same time, he can look at Dodgers reliever Brian Wilson as one of the most recent pitchers who have beaten the odds.

Over the past week, Medlen has determined that before attempting to return, he will evaluate his mechanics with the intention of doing whatever is necessary to lessen the strain placed on his elbow.

The Braves plan to evaluate a range of potential factors including the treatment their trainers and physical therapists provide to pitchers coming off Tommy John surgery. There will also be an analysis of the strength-and-conditioning activities some of the rehabbing pitchers have done outside of the team's care.

---- Source: MLB.com

Brandon Beachy will seek a second opinion before undergoing surgery again
Brandon Beachy will seek a second opinion before undergoing surgery again
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt

PHOTOS: CFC Wins 3-1 Over New Orleans Jesters

Covenant's Burgess Named Capital One Academic All-District

 For a second straight year, Covenant women's cross country runner Beth Burgess has been voted to the Capital One Academic All-District team presented by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), announced the organization on Friday. Burgess becomes the third Covenant student-athlete (joining men's soccer seniors Snoopy Davidson and Joel Friesen) to ... (click for more)

Winning Bid For Huge River Tract Near Dayton Is $4,370,000, But Sellers Not Willing To Accept

A huge tract on the Tennessee River/Chickamauga Lake near Dayton, Tn., brought $4,370,000 at auction at the site on Saturday. However, the auction firm later said the high bid was not accepted by the sellers, John and Edyth Buxton. Henry Glascock of the John Dixon firm auction firm said, "It was a gorgeous piece of property, but we just didn't quite get there. "We had a willing ... (click for more)

Olympian Kristin Armstrong Sets Course Record; Talansky Is Men's Winner

Two-time Olympic goal medal winner Kristin Armstrong won the USA Cycling Professional Time Trial Championship in a record time at the Volkswagen course on Saturday morning. She finished the 19.2-mile course in 42 minutes, 8 seconds. The time trial victory assures the 41-year-old Armstrong of a spot as one of three American women to compete in the world championship time trial ... (click for more)

Shame On The Housing Authority - And Response

With Chattanooga and other cities around the nation struggling to find solutions to chronic homelessness it's cruel to evict families likely with children over a fight.   When you evict the adults you're also evicting any and all children in the household.  Intelligence would dictate looking for a root cause. Compassion would dictate looking for alternatives. Both ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Great Orthopedic Success

Mark Freeman, the chief of orthopedic surgery at Erlanger Hospital, shared a dazzling look at our area’s Level One Trauma Center Friday morning. Yet, as he described the dramatic changes that have occurred in just the past 12 months, the promise of what will happen within the next year was even more appealing. Believe this, our flagship hospital is getting well in a hurry. “If ... (click for more)