Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Angels two-way star Ohtani likely out until 2020

Angels two-way star Ohtani likely out until 2020

If Shohei Ohtani's ulnar collateral ligament injury requires Tommy John surgery, he might not play again until 2020.

This morning, we learned of a report from ESPN's Pedro Gomez, which said that Angels pitcher/DH Shohei Ohtani was likely to undergo Tommy John surgery, causing him to miss the remainder of the 2018 season and all of the 2019 season.

Angels GM Billy Epler, however, said Gomez's report was innaccurate.

Gomez also pointed out, the longer the Angels wait now to see if Ohtani absolutely needs the surgery, the longer his road to recovery will be. "They're trying to hold out, because they're in the middle of the season, they're kind of competitive right now, he is their best pitcher, but it doesn't look good at this point". Days after he signed as a free agent with the Angels in December, Yahoo reported that Ohtani had a Grade 1 UCL tear but Eppler said at the time that there were "no signs of acute trauma" in the ligament.

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The Japanese star is now out for three weeks after suffering sprained elbow ligaments, and the club is hopeful he may respond to platelet-rich plasma and stem cell therapy. "That this is completely treatable with the biologic prescription that the doctors recommend". Ohtani's devastating split-finger fastball is a pitch that puts significant strain on the elbow.

Ohtani had a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) shot in October, before he signed with the Angels, to treat previous elbow pain. He has stuck out 61 batters in 49 1/3 innings.

Losing the two-way star, who has four wins and a 3.10 ERA as a pitcher and a.289 batting average with six home runs as a hitter, would be a crippling blow to an Angels team looking to contend in this year's playoffs.

"But that's not his circumstance, and that's not how we want to utilize the player", Eppler said.

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