Darvish vs. Tanaka: To Go Under The Knife Or Not?
When the name "Dr. James Andrews" is mentioned, you know it's a serious injury. That's the case for Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish who is seeking Dr. Andrews' opinion after suffering from discomfort when an MRI revealed partially torn ligaments and inflammation in his pitching elbow.After going to see specialist Dr. David Altchek, a medical director for the New York Mets, he recommended that the three-time All-Star go under the knife and get Tommy John surgery to repair his ailing elbow. Should Darvish choose surgery, he would have the procedure done later next week and his expected return would be for just after the start of the 2016 season.
This same injury that Darvish is suffering from is the same one that another Japanese pitcher had during his stellar start to last season. That pitcher being the Yankees Masahiro Tanaka. Tanaka chose to rehab the injury, opting not to have the surgery which would have halted not only the end of his rookie season, but the majority of his 2015 campaign as well.
Over the next few years we will be able to see which one of these pitchers will hold up better against professional hitters. Tommy John surgery has worked before on a number of young talent such as Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright and Nationals hard throwing righty Stephen Strasburg.
Tanaka will throw in live action for the first time since being shut down in June of last season after discomfort in his elbow drew much concern for the Yankees.
Could Tanaka's handling of the injury influence Darvish's decision to forgo surgery in any way?