Now that the decision is made, Braves pitcher Kris Medlen says he’s eager to have ligament-transplant elbow surgery Wednesday and get started on a grueling recovery program that typically requires 12 months.
Medlen left an Aug. 4 start against the New York Mets with partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He had a final exam Sunday before Braves doctors advised him that “Tommy John” surgery was needed to repair the damage.
Medlen said he had anticipated that outcome.
“At first I was trying to avoid it, but I think it’s going to be for the best,” said the 24-year-old California native. “I’m excited just to get it over with. But I’m starting to get a little nervous.”
Dr. James Andrews will do the surgery at his clinic in Birmingham. Andrews did the “Tommy John” procedure for Braves veteran Tim Hudson on Aug. 8, 2008, and Hudson returned to the Braves rotation last September.
Hudson, 35, is 14-5 with a 2.13 ERA this season, the staff ace and a Cy Young Award candidate.
Medlen was 6-2 with a 3.68 ERA in 31 games this season, and the Braves were 13-1 in his 14 starts.