ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – Alex Reyes’ possible elbow injury brings a bevy of potential outcomes. Local sports rehabilitation expert Dr. Richard Lehman of the U.S. Center for Sports Medicine said Reyes could be looking at a season-ending surgery.
“Usually what happens is they get soreness, but they lose velocity; they’re throwing 93, 94 (miles per hour), then 89 and 88,” Lehman said.
Lehman said if the elbow injury was severe, it could bench Reyes anywhere from eight weeks to nine months.
“It’s the inside part of your elbow and it crosses the joint and it’s maximally stressed every time you throw a pitch,” he said.
Lehman said a typical elbow injury for pitchers normally affects what doctors call the Tommy John ligament.
“The first thing you worry about is this Tommy John ligament; it can be career-ending or year-ending if you have surgery,” he said.
It’s ultimately the amount of tearing in the ulnar collateral ligament will determine treatment and the amount of recovery time needed to get back on track. Tommy John surgery typically takes just an hour to complete.
“It’s not that the healing takes a long time, but to get back to the level of college or professional pitcher takes a long time,” Lehman said.