Shohei Ohtani underwent successful elbow surgery on his pitching elbow Tuesday in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Angels announced the news via a statement from the superstar’s agent, Nez Balelo.
Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the team physician for the Los Angeles Dodgers, performed the procedure. He has performed many successful Tommy John surgeries and other procedures on athletes.
“The ultimate plan, after deliberation with Shohei, was to repair the issue at hand and reinforce the healthy ligament in place while adding viable tissue for the longevity of the elbow,” Dr. ElAttrache said in the statement.
“I expect full recovery and he’ll be able to hit without any restrictions come opening day of 2024 and do both (hit and pitch) come 2025.”
— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) September 19, 2023
Ohtani has not pitched since he tore his ulnar collateral ligament on Aug. 23. He hasn’t played since Sept. 3, when he suffered an oblique injury.
The fact Ohtani is not expected to pitch at all in 2024 had been expected. Now, the big question is how that elbow surgery affects his value as a free agent this offseason. There had been speculation he might sign a long-term deal in the $600 million range, but that factored in his value as a two-way player.
The statement did not mention the dreaded term “Tommy John surgery,” although that is the procedure used to repair a torn UCL.
The baseball world quickly reacted to the Ohtani report.
Ohtani rising from the ashes pic.twitter.com/n1bniE8Ufi
— SouthpawTodd (@850elitefitness) September 19, 2023
Ohtani’s arm will not hold up. Incredible as he is, he’s eventually going to have to make the difficult decision to only hit.
— G-Freezy82 (@GregoryFriesen1) September 19, 2023
As long as he continues with this double role, his useful life in the big leagues will be shortened.
— Ángel David Prada (@angelprada63) September 19, 2023
Does this effect his free agency deal? I mean I know he is going to get a mega deal but now with two elbow surgeries, are teams going to be hesitant to offer him a crazy deal?
— Bustaaa14 (@MatthewBusta) September 19, 2023
Elite hitters get 400M minimum now and Ohtani is literally getting his second MVP this year. Even if his pitching never returns, every playoff team would want the offense that Ohtani brings.
— Davis Johnson (@TheRealDavisJo) September 19, 2023
the $450 million dollar question is will he be the same pitcher in 2025
— tesla369 (@Tesla_369) September 19, 2023
We really just gonna avoid saying TJ huh?
— Tractorbeaming (@tractorbeaming) September 19, 2023