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Shohei Ohtani undergoes elbow procedure, won’t pitch in 2024

Jul 27, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) pitches in the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani had surgery on his right elbow Tuesday and is not expected to pitch in 2024.

Ohtani tore his ulnar collateral ligament on Aug. 23. He kept batting for the Angels until suffering an oblique strain Sept. 3.

Neither Ohtani nor the Angels said whether Ohtani’s procedure, performed by famed Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles, was Tommy John surgery.

“The ultimate plan, after deliberation with Shohei, was to repair the issue at hand and to reinforce the healthy ligament in place while adding viable tissue for the longevity of the elbow,” ElAttrache said in a statement released by the Angels.

“I expect full recovery and he’ll be ready to hit without any restrictions come opening day of 2024 and do both (hit and pitch) come 2025.”

The surgery could shift the equation for Ohtani’s pending free agency. Ohtani’s contract expires after the 2023 season, and he was expected to command a record-breaking salary as a home run-hitting batter and talented pitcher entering his prime.

“I had a procedure done on my elbow earlier this morning and everything went very well,” Ohtani said in an Instagram post. “Thank you very much for everyone’s prayers and kind words. It was very unfortunate that I couldn’t finish out the year on the field, but I will be rooting on the boys until the end.

“I will work as hard as I can and do my best to come back on the diamond stronger than ever.”

–Field Level Media