The news Atlanta fans all across Braves’ Country have been expecting, predicting, and dreading, is now a certainty. Starting pitcher Kris Medlen will go under the careful knife of Dr. Andrews again to have his second Tommy John surgery (ligament transplant) sometime tomorrow. Kris learned the news after another consultation and exam by Andrews. We’ve been reporting on Medlen’s injury extensively, all awaiting the outcome, and learned the sad news just a short awhile ago from Braves’ beat reporter, Mark Bowman, and Atlanta Journal Constitution reporter, David O’Brien:
Medlen will undergo Tommy John surgery tomorrow. Beachy will head to Los Angeles to be further evaluated
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) March 17, 2014
— David O’Brien (@ajcbraves) March 17, 2014
As O’Brien correctly pointed out, recovery time for an initial TJ surgery typically takes anywhere from 12 to 14 months, but can certainly take longer depending on the person, care taken in the recovery process, and careful attention to proper therapy. There’s no specific timetable on the recovery time from a second TJ surgery, but it typically takes a bit longer – more like 14 to 18 months. All that depends of course on the player and other factors out of his control.
While this news is not what fans wanted to hear, it doesn’t exactly come as a surprise for anyone that saw Medlen walk off the mound recently, grabbing his elbow and making a bee line to the dugout. I don’t need to say more about the options the Braves have now. We’ve had plenty to say about that, and no doubt will have more to say. O’Brien also shared with us a statement that Kris Medlen made shortly after he got the difficult news:
The news is obviously very tough but I knew when I walked off the mound mid-inning what I had felt. The love and support I’ve felt from my family/teammates – they go hand in hand – the Braves organization and Braves fans everywhere really means the world to me and will definitely help me through all this. The part that blew me away this past week were the comments and outreach that I received from other organizations, opponents, and the fans of baseball around the league. I’ve always tried to earn the respect of people based on myself as a person on and off the field, and the response I’ve gotten after the last week is truly amazing. The same fans that curse at me while warming up in the opposing stadiums reached out and let me know that they appreciate the way I play the game and that is just an unbelievable feeling. I approach this process with the same drive that I’ve had my entire life and will do everything I can to come back from this ‘thing’ twice. Once, again thank you so much and Go Bravos!!!
As Bowman and O’Brien noted, Brandon Beachy will get a second opinion on his right elbow injury from a doctor other than Andrews. A Dr. Neal Elattrache will take a look at Beachy’s elbow in Los Angeles, California. As with Medlen, most fans are also skeptical about a positive outcome for Beachy, and the Braves will go into the 2014 season, likely, without either pitcher in the starting rotation. We can only hope for the best in Brandon’s second opinion, and pass along our best wishes to Kris as he faces more time away from the game he loves. As more news breaks, we’ll be on it.