Ryu Hyun-jin undergoes Tommy John Surgery
Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin underwent Tommy John Surgery, the club announced over the weekend, likely taking the 35-year-old out of commission for at least 12 months.
The Blue Jays announced on Saturday that Ryu received "revision ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction with a flexor tendon repair," more commonly known as Tommy John Surgery.
The club had announced earlier on Tuesday that Ryu would have to undergo elbow surgery, but had hoped that only a partial reconstruction would be required. That proved not to be the case, raising serious questions about the Korean left-hander's career as he now faces missing at least half of the final season of his four-year contract next year.
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.
With the recovery time from Tommy John Surgery typically lasting 12 to 18 months, the impact on Ryu's career could be significant — at 35, that much time out of action may seriously impact how feasible a return to the mound is for the veteran starter.
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.
Ryu is currently playing the third season of a four-season, $80-million deal. After starting strong in his first season, which Ryu ended with a 2.69 ERA and a Cy Young Award nomination, the left-hander struggled in the latter half of the 2021 season and carried those problems through into this year.
BY JIM BULLEY [firstname.lastname@example.org]