Surgery recommended for Nova
The worse-case scenario regarding Ivan Nova hit the Yankees’ pitching staff Tuesday. Dr. Chris Ahmad, the Yanks’ team physician, confirmed the original diagnosis of a partial tear of Nova’s right ulnar collateral ligament after viewing an MRI of the righthander at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Ahmad recommended surgery.
Now it is up to Nova how to proceed. Players dealing with their first major injury are often hesitant to undergo surgery. Nova might seek another opinion, but it would likely just be another confirmation. The longer Nova waits to make a decision the longer it will be before he can get back on a mound again.
The recovery period from Tommy John surgery that was developed by the late Dr. Frank Jobe is between 12 and 18 months, probably for Nova because of his youth (27) closer to that first number. If Nova opts for the surgery now, he may be back pitching by the middle of the 2015 season.
It is a deep wound for the Yankees’ rotation. They had been counting on Nova for 15 to 20 victories this year. His spot in the rotation for the time being will be taken by lefthander Vidal Nuno, who started for the Yanks Sunday at St. Petersburg and pitched five shutout innings. Righthanders David Phelps and Adam Warren are also potential candidates down the line but are now pertinent members of the bullpen.
On the plus side for the Yankees’ staff, David Robertson was reinstated from the disabled list and back in his closer role as the Yanks opened a three-game series at Fenway Park.