Ivan Nova has decided to seek a second opinion on his partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow as reported by Brendan Kuty of NJ.com. Nova will meet with Tommy John specialist Dr. James Andrews before deciding to undergo surgery and end his 2014 campaign.
After Saturday’s start, where he left due to pain and a “pop” after his 83rd pitch, he received an MRI that revealed a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. Partial can be a very vague diagnosis in this situation as it could be anywhere between 10% or 99% torn. Yankees’ team physician Dr. Chris Ahmad has told Nova that he thinks surgery is the best course of action at this point.
While any damage to a pitcher’s UCL is never promising, it is not unusual for an athlete to seek a second opinion, especially if that opinion is with the best of the best in Dr. Andrews. Speaking from my own experience, I was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL and sought out the opinion of three doctors before deciding to go under the knife. One doctor said I would be fine with two weeks off while the other two confirmed that I would definitely need surgery to repair it. While the odds are slim of a different opinion, there is still a chance Nova will hear more promising news for him and his 2014 season.
If Nova ultimately decides to have surgery, he will be the 14th pitcher to have Tommy John surgery in this young season. There were very high hopes for the 27-year-old this year after such a strong second half in 2013. The recovery table is anywhere between 12 to 18 months, with each pitcher being different based off of how their body reacts. In the meantime, left hander Vidal Nuno will replace Ivan Nova in the rotation.