Ryu Hyun-jin to receive season-ending surgery

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Ryu Hyun-jin to receive season-ending surgery

Ryu Hyun-jin  [AP/YONHAP]

Ryu Hyun-jin [AP/YONHAP]

Toronto Blue Jays starter Ryu Hyun-jin will need to undergo surgery due to ligament damage on his left elbow, ending his season and casting serious doubts over his future in the major leagues.
The Blue Jays announced Tuesday that Ryu, who was already on the 15-day injured list, will have to undergo surgery due to his elbow injury. Details of the surgery were not disclosed but the nature of the injury makes it likely that Ryu will have to undergo ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, more commonly known as Tommy John Surgery.
Ryu has been out of action since June 2, having pitched four innings against the Chicago White Sox on June 1. He has been struggling with the ligament injury throughout the season, pitching in only six games with almost a month out from the middle of April to the middle of May.
If Ryu undergoes Tommy John Surgery, the recovery time is likely to push into the middle of the 2023 season. At 35 years old, that much time out of action may seriously impact how feasible a return to the mound is for the veteran starter.
If the damage is not too bad, Ryu may be able to undergo a partial version of the surgery with a shorter recovery time, potentially allowing him to return from the start of next season.
Potentially exacerbating the issue, Ryu has underdone surgery related to his elbow on multiple occasions in the past. While in high school he underwent Tommy John surgery and was out for a year, missing another year in 2015 when he played for the Los Angeles Dodgers due to shoulder surgery.
Announcing that Ryu was to undergo surgery on Tuesday, Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins emphasized his contributions to the team after joining on a four-year, $80-million deal at the end of 2019.
“I see the [first] pandemic year as him being integral to turning us around as a team,”  Atkins said. “He was a stabilizer for us. You could lay your head on a pillow at night [knowing] that he was going to absolutely keep us in the game. That was a massive impact for us in 2020. I feel very good about that acquisition.”

BY JIM BULLEY [jim.bulley@joongang.co.kr]
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