September 26, 2018 / 1:16 AM / a year ago

Baseball - Angels' Ohtani to undergo elbow surgery in October

Sep 24, 2018; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) watches his solo home run in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Los Angeles Angels rookie pitcher Shohei Ohtani will have Tommy John surgery to repair his injured pitching elbow next week, the team announced on Tuesday.

The Japanese two-way player was placed on the disabled list in June with a sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow.

He has pitched just once since then, an outing in Houston in September where he lasted just 2 1/3 innings in a 4-2 loss to the Astros.

An MRI exam afterward revealed new damage to the elbow and surgery appeared inevitable, although the Angels had hoped to avoid it.

Ohtani, 24, ends the season with a 4-2 record on the mound and a 3.31 ERA.

The power-hitter also batted .280 and hit 21 home runs in 307 plate appearances this season.

It is unclear whether he will be able to pitch next season as he recovers from the surgery, which will take place in Los Angeles.

Rehabilitation from the procedure, where a surgeon replaces the injured UCL with a tendon taken from somewhere else in the patient’s body, typically takes about a year.

Reporting by Rory Carroll, editing by Nick Mulvenney

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