Red Sox Daisuke Matsuzaka Likely for Tommy John Surgery, What It Means for Fans

Jed PContributor IIIJune 2, 2011

Daisuke Matsuzaka is likely to undergo surgery sometime next week
Daisuke Matsuzaka is likely to undergo surgery sometime next weekElsa/Getty Images

The Red Sox' Daisuke Matsuzaka is likely headed for Tommy John ligament transfer surgery, which will end his 2011 season. Daisuke Matsuzaka was shut down with a sprain in his ulnar collateral ligament. At first, he decided to take a two-week break to see the reaction of his elbow. Apparently it didn't go well, and he went to doctor Lewis Yocum who reportedly told the Red Sox that the best option would be Tommy John surgery.

Right now, the club's main issue is who to replace him with. As of now, it looks like it could be Alfredo Aceves, the former New York Yankee reliever. Or it could possibly be newly signed Kevin Milwood, who was also a former Yankee—but indications are pointing to Aceves.

Officials plan to report more information and how he's officially getting Tommy John on Friday. If Matsuzaka has Tommy John surgery, he is likely to return to the mound for the Red Sox at some point during the 2012 season. This year is the last season of Matsuzaka's six-year, $52 million contract.

Matsuzaka was acquired by the Red Sox after an outstanding season in Japan. In his first season, he won 15 games, following with 18 wins, finishing Top 5 in the AL Cy Young race award in his second season.

After those two terrific seasons, it seemed like it was a steep slope for Matsuzaka filled with injuries control issues and other problems. In his last two seasons, he posted over a 5.00 earned run average in each season and now is out for this season after, in eight appearances, having three wins and three losses with a 5.30 earned run average. 

Two weeks ago, before his terrible start, he complained about sourness, then following the start, he got taken out for a rest. This is not the first time he has been in a situation like this—questions concerning his Tommy John surgery can lead to other issues and end his Boston Red Sox career.

Dice-K told the AP, "In general, I could hold the pain and still throw before. But at this point, it's difficult to hold it with this kind of pain. So, I usually have a high tolerance, but this time it's hard for me to keep throwing."

It is also likely because of this the Red Sox will not resign him and Daisuke could be in a tough spot now. The 30-year-old can possibly even go back to his family in Japan if he's left to no other choices.