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NY Yankees’ Jonathan Loaisiga to Have UCL Surgery at the End of Season

Jonathan Loaisiga at NY Yankees (Credits: MLB)

The Yankees had hoped to leave their injury-riddled 2023 season behind as they embarked on 2024, but early signs suggest a continuation of their misfortune.

The latest setback hits the bullpen hard: Reliever Jonathan Loaisiga revealed on Saturday that he will undergo season-ending surgery to mend the ulnar collateral ligament in his right throwing elbow.

Opting against Tommy John surgery, which typically entails a lengthy 16-month recovery, Loaisiga will undergo a procedure with an estimated 10 to 12-month rehabilitation period.

Dr. Keith Meister, known for pioneering an internal brace UCL surgery that reduces recovery time, will perform the operation in Texas.

Loaisiga, 29, detected discomfort in his elbow while delivering a changeup during a scoreless inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday.

Jonathan Loaisiga at NY Yankees (Credits: MLB)

Following an MRI on Thursday, the extent of the damage became apparent, leading to his placement on the 60-day injured list the next day.

This marks Loaisiga’s second significant injury in as many years. He was limited to 17 appearances last season after addressing a bone spur in his right elbow through arthroscopic surgery. Additionally, he missed nearly two months in 2022 due to shoulder inflammation.

Expressing his frustration in Spanish, Loaisiga lamented the consecutive years of adversity. Despite the challenges, his determination to persevere remains steadfast.

Loaisiga joins Gerrit Cole (elbow) and DJ LeMahieu (foot) on the Yankees’ injured list this season.

Cole, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, is not anticipated to return before June, while LeMahieu, the projected leadoff hitter, could be back by month’s end.

Jonathan Loaisiga at NY Yankees (Credits: MLB)

Loaisiga’s absence disrupts the Yankees’ bullpen plans, as he was slated to assume the role of the primary multi-inning relief option following Michael King’s departure during the offseason.

Despite appearing in just three of the team’s first seven games, he delivered four scoreless innings.

While Loaisiga’s injury is a setback, his poignant spring training outing in Mexico City, where his mother watched him pitch as a Yankee for the first time, remains a poignant memory.

Manager Aaron Boone empathized with Loaisiga’s plight, acknowledging the challenges he has faced in recent years.

As a free agent next offseason, Loaisiga’s future with the Yankees is uncertain, but for now, his focus is squarely on his recovery journey.

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