Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani, pictured June 2018, will not undergo Tommy John surgery on his damaged elbow, the team's general manager announced Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File

Angels boss denies Ohtani surgery report

By Sean M Haffey

Los Angeles Angels general manager Billy Eppler on Monday denied a report that two-way star Shohei Ohtani faced season-ending Tommy John surgery on his damaged elbow.

ESPN baseball commentator Pedro Gomez reported on Sunday that Ohtani was expected to undergo surgery on his elbow that could leave him sidelined until 2020.

However, Angels GM Eppler swiftly played down the reports early Monday, telling the MLB Network that there had been no change in Ohtani's condition.

The Japanese star is currently out for three weeks after suffering sprained elbow ligaments, and the club is hopeful he may respond to platelet-rich plasma and stem cell therapy.

"There have been no changes in Ohtani's diagnosis and neither our physicians nor medical staff have recommended (Tommy John surgery) or said it's likely," Eppler said.

The Angels announced on Friday that Ohtani has a grade 2 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

Ohtani's injury is a blow to the Angels, who are 37-29 as they attempt to stay in touch with the pace-setting Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros in the American League West division.

The Japanese ace has electrified Major League Baseball after a string of successful performances as both a pitcher and hitter, a rare double threat that has seen him nicknamed the "Japanese Babe Ruth."

Pitchers suffering elbow injuries involving the UCL often require Tommy John surgery to repair the problem, leading to a lengthy rehabilitation.

Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager was ruled out for the entire season in April after undergoing surgery to repair damaged ligaments in his right elbow.

© 2018 AFP

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Stinks for baseball fans literally around the world. Hope he's back & healthy as soon as possible. Huge bummer.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sadly, another disappointing Japanese MLB export.

This time it cannot all be blamed on Ohtani, since an injury is an injury. Still, you wonder.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

makes me wonder if the whole blister thing was phoney.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This is really sad news if it's true.

Hopeful for a speedy & full recovery.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm pretty sure he'll be going under the knife, so that's it for this season. Possibly next as well. Yet another young talented player sacrificed by the insane coaching that happens at the high school level here. Teenage pitchers are burned out by throwing on consecutive days, waaaaay too many pitches in a game, etc. There really need to be some rules in place to protect them from their glory-hound coaches. There is nothing "noble" in a starting pitcher appearing in 3 consecutive games- it's quite simply abuse.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

all that hooplah. well, that didnt last long.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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