When Ivan Nova let go of his pitch in the 5th inning against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday, he knew something was wrong. A serious injury kind of wrong.
His fears were confirmed when the Yankees medical staff diagnosed the right-hander with a partially torn UCL in his pitching arm. They recommended Tommy John Surgery, a pitcher’s worst fear, second to being hit by a batted ball. However, Nova wants to avoid going under the knife, and would seemingly prefer rehabilitation to incision (according to George A. King of the New York Post). Today, Nova will visit world-renowned Dr. James Andrews. If his opinion is consistent with the team doctors, at least the opinion will be from a true expert in the medical field.
The five-year Major League veteran had been struggling even before the injury. After finishing last year 9-6, Nova has been roughed up, winning two, losing two, and serving up an major league-high six home runs. He was really counted on to carry the rotation as a third or fourth starter, but fortunately Masahiro Tanaka has performed beyond expectations to help make Nova’s loss a bit more manageable for Joe Girardi‘s squad. Still, Nova is a streaky player, and can heat up at any given time. His presence will be missed in the Bronx for the next few months.