Pat Neshek was injured unexpectedly last season in early May, and although he missed the remainder of the season, the organization and fans everywhere were relieved to find out that it was only a partial tear of the ligament and no surgery was required.
Now, six months later, and just a few days before his rehab was due to be complete, Neshek felt discomfort in the same elbow during a throwing session.
An MRI today revealed that the other side of the ligament has been torn away from the bone, and rehab won't do the trick. The team has announced that sometime in the near future, Neshek will undergo the widely-known Tommy John surgery.
It is the exact same surgery from which left-hander Francisco Liriano returned this past season, with a recovery process of about 10-15 months. The good news for the organization is that the surgery a lot of times allows the pitcher to completely recover, and there have been cases where the pitcher has returned and performed at a higher level.
In March, 2010, it will have been 16 months for Neshek to fully recover, so Spring Training of 2010 is a good bet for him to finally return to game action.
The toughest part, other than the Twins being out an All-Star-caliber setup man, is that Neshek is one of the most likeable players in a Twins uniform. Neshek unfortunately will miss the final season in the Metrodome, as well.
We wish Pat the best, and we'll be waiting around when the new ballpark is done, come 2010.