Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, watches a foul ball during the third inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians in Anaheim, Calif., Monday, Sept. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) Photo: AP
baseball

Ohtani to have season-ending surgery on kneecap

15 Comments
By Greg Beacham

Shohei Ohtani is ending his second major league season early to make sure he's prepared to resume his two-way career in 2020.

The Los Angeles Angels slugger and pitcher will miss the rest of the season to have surgery on his left kneecap, the team announced Thursday. Los Angeles (67-80) has been eliminated from playoff contention with 15 games left.

Ohtani will have surgery Friday on his bipartite patella, or a two-part kneecap that didn't fuse together at birth. The condition is rare, congenital and usually harmless.

But Ohtani began to feel occasional pain in his kneecap back in February during his early comeback from Tommy John surgery. The discomfort increased when he began throwing in the mid-80s recently in his rehab work, according to general manager Billy Eppler.

"It had started to cause Shohei a little apprehension as he was increasing the intensity of his mound progressions," Eppler said. "It was aggravating him a little bit, so we made the decision to play it safe and not have him continue the mound progressions and get this bipartite condition addressed now."

Ohtani will put his throwing program on hold while recovering from surgery, but he should complete the throwing portion of his Tommy John rehabilitation by December, Eppler said. The Angels will wait until later to formulate a plan for Ohtani in spring training in February, when he hopes to be a two-way player again.

Ohtani batted .286 with 18 homers and 62 RBIs in 106 games this season as the Angels' designated hitter. The 2018 AL Rookie of the Year has been a steady presence in the middle of the Angels' lineup while he simultaneously went through a year of elbow rehabilitation.

Ohtani had never reported any pain from the bipartite kneecap to the Angels or his Japanese teams before this season, Eppler said.

Ohtani and the Angels thought about waiting on the surgery until his full throwing progression back from elbow surgery was complete. But Ohtani decided Wednesday morning to have the season-ending surgery, and the slugger homered later that day in his final game of the year.

"We felt that it was better to get it done now, because it was causing some reluctance or apprehension, whatever word you want to use, in his mound progressions, and we wanted to increase the intensity," Eppler said. "If we pushed the intensity and he compromised something in his delivery, that could lead to some unforeseen issues."

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©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


15 Comments
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Good lord another season ending surgery.

Yet another in a long line of high profile Japanese MLB busts

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Why do Japanese players suddenly become injury-prone when they go to America?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Ohtani another Japanese "flash in the pan" MLB bust. People outside of america got to learn why it's called the Major League.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The guy is a good player (never thought I'd feel that way) but the MLB season is a longer grind with bigger fields, more activity and travel, etc. That will take a much bigger toll on your body.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Yet another in a long line of high profile Japanese MLB busts

Ohtani another Japanese "flash in the pan" MLB bust

Far from it - Ohtani's put up very nice production in the MLB. The injuries are unfortunate, but far from career-defining. He's young and has plenty of opportunities to direct his career in any direction he likes.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Ohtani another Japanese "flash in the pan" MLB bust. People outside of america got to learn why it's called the Major League.

Bust? This is his 2nd year, the 1st year he won Rookie of the Year and this year is hitting .286-18-62 though starting in May. He is electing to get surgery because Angels are waaaaaay out of it and he wants to be ready for next season. What is the problem with that?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Hopefully he'll do better in 2020.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Here's hoping he can continue his career, hopefully he doesn't continue to have problems, would ike to see what he ca do!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Wonder if they'll stop showing the Angels on Japanese TV.

Go Mike Trout 45 homers and counting.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This is his 2nd year, the 1st year he won Rookie of the Year and this year is hitting .286-18-62 though starting in May. He is electing to get surgery because Angels are waaaaaay out of it and he wants to be ready for next season. What is the problem with that?

Absolutely nothing, that's what!

I'm sure if the Angels had a chance, he would soldier on. But being realistic, he is doing the right thing to look after himself for the 2020 season!

Go Angels! Go Lions!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Unfortunately he's always been injury prone. In his five years playing in Japan he only appeared in 100 games one season. MLB is a much more physically demanding game than NPB. Makes me really respect Ichiro even more that he only missed a handful of games in his MLB career.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Ohtani will have surgery Friday on his bipartite patella, or a two-part kneecap that didn't fuse together at birth.

The surgery is for a condition which he has had since birth. It seems many did not read the article. He had a great year this year. I wish him luck

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It's like electronics, cars, and houses here... not built to last. Another Japanse player on the DM. At least Ohtani hit a good number of homers.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

He got another home run Thursday.....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Los Angeles Angels slugger and pitcher will miss the rest of the season to have surgery on his left kneecap, 

Does the writer know the meaning of slugger.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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