There is no easy way to say this, so let’s do this like a band-aid: Yu Darvish has been diagnosed with a sprained UCL on his right elbow.
The Texas Rangers also issued the following Press Release:
"Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish, who left his start after one inning on Thursday vs. Kansas City, underwent an MRI and examination by Team Physician Dr. Keith Meister late Friday.The test and examination indicated that Darvish has a sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Dr. Meister and the Rangers have discussed with Darvish the potential options, one of which is ligament reconstruction surgery."
"The Rangers and Darvish will consult with other orthopedic surgeons over the next several days before making a final determination on the course of action.Darvish issued the following statement this morning:“I will be disappointed if I have to miss this season, but I want to look at all the options including getting a second opinion, before I make a final decision. In the meantime, my heart is with my teammates, and our focus remains on accomplishing our goals for the season.”"
Darvish could miss the entire season if he chooses to undergo Tommy John Surgery or he could choose to rehab the elbow and miss at least four months of the season.
I know we all want Darvish to pitch, but I would much rather him get this taken care of now and be healthy in the long-term rather than try to push through the pain only to do more harm than good. And, if Jurickson Profar has taught us anything it is to not take the wait-and-see-how-everything-goes-and-miss-two-seasons-instead-of-one approach.
While the news is certainly not what was expected after Darvish stated his elbow just felt tight and he wasn’t worried, I’m not sure if we should instantly write the season off as a loss one week into camp.
I am also VERY certain that the Texas Rangers should not look into trading Yu Darvish or try to bring Cliff Lee back to Texas, as suggested by some on Twitter. I don’t know what the answer is to filling this huge hole in the rotation, but I do know that those are not it.
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