Eovaldi to have Tommy John surgery, out til 2018

The injury that forced Nathan Eovaldi out of his last start in the first inning a week ago at Boston proved very serious. Eovaldi has torn the flexor tendon in his right, pitching arm off the bone and damaged the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow to the extent that he will require Tommy John surgery for the second time in his career.

What that means for the Yankees is that Eovaldi is not likely to pitch for them again until 2018. The rehabilitation period for flexor tendon surgery is three to six months but coupled with a second Tommy John surgery Eovaldi will be looking at a recovery stint of up to 18 months.

“It’s a huge blow,” Eovaldi said before Tuesday night’s Yankees-Blue Jays game at Yankee Stadium. “It’s my second one, so it’s a big deal. Hopefully everything goes well with the surgery and I work hard to get back.”

Eovaldi’s contract is under the Yankees’ control through 2017 when he is arbitration-eligible.

“It wasn’t a particular pitch or something like that,” Eovaldi said of his most recent injury. “I just felt a little pinch every time I threw a fastball. After the first inning [last week], my velocity was down a little bit, but I didn’t feel like there was anything to really worry about. But then I got the MRI, and when I got the results, I was really surprised to see that I had torn the flexor tendon off the bone and damaged my UCL.”

Eovaldi, who had his first Tommy John surgery nine years ago when he was 17 years old and in high school, had one victory since May 29. He was 6-2 with a 3.71 ERA 10 starts into the season but watched his record drop to 9-8 with a 4.76 ERA.

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