Miami Marlins ace pitcher Jose Fernandez will undergo Tommy John surgery Friday morning in Los Angeles, according to a report from CBSSports.com.
The surgery, nicknamed for the first pitcher to have it, involves taking a ligament from another part of the body and replacing the ulnar collateral ligament in the arm. The recovery time for the surgery is usually between 12 and 18 months.
With that timetable, Fernandez may be ready to go as early as May 2015, but it could be as late as the beginning of the 2016 season, depending on how his arm heals from the surgery.
Doctors found a tear in Fernandez’s ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm. Fernandez was shelled in his last start and that set off warning bells for the franchise. He was initially put on the 15-day disabled list with a right arm strain. However, it was quickly determined the injury was much worse.
Fernandez was off to a great start in the 2014 season, just a year after winning rookie of the year. In eight starts, Fernandez was 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA in 51.2 innings pitched. He had 70 strikeouts to just 13 walks this season as well.
The Marlins hope Fernandez can get close to the player he was before the injury, but whether he will be able to achieve the same velocity he had on his fastball after the surgery is unknown. The surgery has an approximately 90 percent success rate.