Tommy John surgery set for Hutchison

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Drew Hutchison prepares to leave the game from an undisclosed injury as...

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Drew Hutchison prepares to leave the game from an undisclosed injury as manager Hap Hudson and teammates Kelly Johnson and catcher J.P. Arencibia watch during their inter league MLB baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Toronto June 15, 2012. (Brett Gundlock/REUTERS)

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:50 PM ET

DUNEDIN, FLA. - Drew Hutchison was supposed to have the lesser of the two elbow injuries suffered by Blue Jays starters in June.

However, the rookie right-hander left the Bobby Mattick facility Monday afternoon headed for surgery later this week with Dr. James Andrews.

On June 13, right-hander Kyle Drabek left his start against the Washington Nationals after 41/3 innings and 83 pitches. After watching a Father's Day win at the Rogers Centre against the Philadelphia Phillies, he and his father Doug Drabek, the former Cy Young award winner, headed for Pensacola, Fla. and Dr. Andrews for Tommy John surgery.

On June 15, Hutchison left his start against the Phillies after 12 pitches with pain in his elbow. He visited Cincinnati specialist Dr. Timothy Kremchek, who confirmed the team's original diagnosis of a sprained elbow ligament. Immediate surgery was suggested.

The Jays were worried that the sprain might be an early warning sign and throwing again throw with a weakened ligament could require reconstructive surgery ... the same as Drabek's.

For Drabek, his Tommy John surgery, which replaces a damaged elbow ligament with a tendon taken from another part of the body, was his second.

The usual recovery time for a Tommy John operation is anywhere from a year to 18 months.

Now, Drabek, who had his surgery June 16, could be back in the rotation before Hutchison, scheduled for surgery this week.

Brandon Morrow, the first of three starters to go down, went on the disabled list after straining his left oblique June 11. He has made two rehab starts at class-A Dunedin and is now at double-A New Hampshire.

The Jays will have lost Morrow, Drabek and Hutchison for 27 starts when they face the Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday night in the opener of a series at Tropicana Field.†

J.A. Happ becomes the sixth starter to fill in for the missing trio.

Brett Cecil, Aaron Laffey, Carlos Villanueva, Jesse Chavez and Joel Carreno have filled in for the injured threesome. Only Laffey and Villanueva remain in the rotation, along with Ricky Romero, Henderson Alvarez and Happ.

bob.elliott@sunmedia.ca


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