Dr. James Andrews Will Not Perform Tommy John Surgery During COVID-19 Pandemic

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIMarch 31, 2020

Dr. James Andrews, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III's surgeon, stands on the field before an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers Monday, Aug. 19, 2013, in Landover, Md. The Redskins won 24-13. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Athletes who want Dr. James Andrews to perform their Tommy John surgeries will have to wait. 

"We are not performing any non-urgent or non-emergent procedures, including Tommy John surgery, in compliance with the governor's executive order," a spokesperson at Florida's Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine said, per Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. "We are adhering to these restrictions, and all such cases are suspended at this time."

Florida Governor Rick DeSantis ordered providers to limit all "'non-essential' elective medical and surgical procedures" earlier this month, as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the United States.

The Boston Red Sox announced on Monday that ace Chris Sale underwent successful Tommy John surgery. The procedure was done by Dr. Neal ElAttrache at Los Angeles' Kerlan-Jobe Institute. L.A. County had also issued guidelines to "limit all non-essential planned surgeries and procedures" indefinitely, but it was not law.

"I know that I'm going to get criticized for taking care of these kinds of guys, but it's essential to their livelihoods,” ElAttrache told Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle last week. "If you have somebody's career at stake and they lose two seasons instead of one, I would say that is not a nonessential or unimportant elective procedure."

New York Mets ace Noah Syndergaard also underwent Tommy John last week in West Palm Beach despite Florida's ban on non-essential surgeries:

MLB delayed its 2020 Opening Day from March 26 to "mid-May at the earliest," per ESPN's Jeff Passan, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

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