Shohei Ohtani operated on his right elbow | A probable return as a hitter in 2024 and as a pitcher in 2025

(St. Petersburg) Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani underwent surgery on his right elbow on Tuesday.

His doctor said he expects the two-position player to be available as a hitter in the 2024 opener and could return to the mound as a pitcher in 2025.

Ohtani tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow on August 23, ending his pitching season. He continued to hit until September 3, when he suffered a strained oblique muscle.

Los Angeles Dodgers head physician Neal ElAttrache performed the surgery Tuesday at the Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles. ElAttrache had already performed Ohtani’s Tommy John surgery on 1er October 2018. Neither Ohtani nor the team provided further details regarding Tuesday’s intervention.

“I had elbow surgery earlier this morning and everything went great,” Ohtani said in a post on his Instagram account. It was very unfortunate that I couldn’t finish the season on the field, but I will encourage my teammates until the end. I’m going to work as hard as I can and do my best to get back on the field stronger than ever. »

Nez Balelo, Ohtani’s agent, released a statement shared by the Angels. Balelo did not go into detail regarding the type of intervention.

“The final decision and type of intervention was made with a strong focus on the bigger picture,” Balelo said. Shohei wanted to ensure that the direction taken would give him every opportunity to hit and pitch for many years to come. »

The 29-year-old Ohtani leads the Americans with 44 home runs and has driven in 96 runs, with eight triples and 20 stolen bases. He posted a 10-5 record and 3.14 ERA in 23 starts, striking out 167 batters in 132 innings of work.

“The final plan, after deliberation with Shohei, was to repair the problem and strengthen the healthy ligament in place while adding viable tissue for longevity of the elbow,” ElAttrache observed in a press release. I expected a full recovery and he will be ready to hit without any restrictions in the 2024 opener and he will be able to hit and pitch in 2025.”

Ohtani is eligible for free agency after the World Series. Before the elbow injury, some observers speculated that he would get a record contract worth more than US$500 million.

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